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. A job description says “a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience” is required. An employee in that job has proven he can do everything the job description entails and then some. Is it legal to tell him the raise (within reason) cannot be justified to the board of directors be­­cause he doesn’t have a college degree? 

In the waning hours of New Year’s Day, Congress passed a bill averting a plunge off the “fiscal cliff,” setting 2013 tax rates—and providing an unexpected boost for employee training and commuter subsidies.
The job market is tough for poorly educated, untrained injured workers. However, unless you want to continue carrying such workers on your workers’ compensation policy rolls, it might be smart to do all you can to find light-duty jobs for them.
A federal court has ordered the owner of Elmhurst-based ABD Tank & Pump Co. to repay $2.7 million that was illegally skimmed from the company’s 401(k) plan.
The health care reform law doesn’t fully kick in for another year. But that hasn’t stopped DOL auditors from scrutinizing group health plans for provisions already in effect, such as the grand­fathering rules and children staying on parents’ plan until they turn age 26.
Q. Are we required to continue to offer our employees benefits while they are out on leave?
At Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis, a diverse workforce is one that includes working parents. Steve Fry, senior VP of HR and diversity, says, “Family-friendly work schedules and benefits are about having lower stress levels, maintaining better health and enabling a stronger focus when at work––all leading to enhanced engagement, increased innovation and ultimately better results.”
ERISA allows employees to sue if they believe they suffered retaliation for giving information or testifying in an ERISA proceeding. Until now, employers assumed that an employee had to at least make a formal complaint to the DOL before he could sue for retaliation. That’s no longer true.
As the legislative wrangling to avert a plunge over the federal budget’s fiscal cliff heated up late last year, the IRS released its list of the nation’s biggest tax breaks. Three of the top 10 involved employee benefits.
When employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina don’t feel well, they can log onto the Internet and find out why. The company has partnered with Ameri­­can Well and Walgreens Take Care Health Systems to create a telehealth service for employees.
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