Compensation and Benefits

Compensation and benefits topics – whether it’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation laws, or employee pay – if properly handled, can help you retain workers and recruit new ones.

Use our advice to craft independent contractor agreements that keep independent contractors – and your bosses – happy.

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Q. Our offices were closed due to a phoned-in bomb threat. As a result, we were forced to send home all our employees. Do we need to pay employees for showing up to work that day?

Do you require employees to complete after-hours training that will ben­­efit your operations but isn’t directly job-related? If so, you must pay them for their time, unless you can show that participation is truly voluntary.

Q. We are considering replacing sick leave and vacation benefits with a paid time off (PTO) program. How are these plans treated upon the termination or resignation of an employee?

Kelley Drye & Warren, a New York City law firm with more than 300 attorneys, had a policy of requiring partners who reached age 70 to relinquish equity in the firm, receiving only discretionary bonuses. Too bad for the firm that Eugene D’Ablemont knew the law ...
In April, the Cali­­for­­nia Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in Brinker v. Superior Court. In a major victory for California employers, the court issued clear rules on how and when employee meal and rest periods must be provided.
Ignoring California’s wage-and-hour rules is a big mistake—no matter where an employer is based. When foreign-owned corporations assign employees to work in Cali­for­nia, California’s employment rules apply.

Q. Our employees punch a time clock and then go to job sites. Sometimes they don’t take a lunch break. But when they do, they’re unable to clock out and back in, so there’s no time record. Can a manager adjust the timecard by marking through the daily total and deducting the lunch time?

It’s a benefit designed to retain long-term employees, but the practice of allowing retiring government ­workers to cash out unused leave may turn in­­to an actuarial time bomb. The prob­­lem: Local governments are shedding employees at a record pace, often through early-retirement packages. And the leave liability is largely unfunded.

Q. Management wants to institute a policy requiring cashiers whose registers are short at night’s end to replace the disputed amount out of their own pockets. Would that violate the law?

Have you thought about converting employees into independent contractors to save money? Then make sure you tell them they won’t be eligible for unemployment compensation. If you don’t, they may be eligible.
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