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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It will take months to sort out all the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. But organizations with employees who are married to same-sex spouses can begin acting now to ensure their benefits plans comply with federal law.
In a win for common sense, the Court of Appeals of Minnesota has reversed an unemployment compensation award to a supervisor who used obscenities at work and then drunk-dialed a subordinate more than once.
Q. We send our hourly employees to training that is related to work but is not required for employees to do their jobs. The training is on a weekend, is voluntary, and no work is performed. Are we required to pay employees for the hours they spend attending the training?
J. Roland Wood Farms, a Benson tobacco and sweet potato grower, has paid nearly $21,000 in back pay and penalties to 138 migrant workers following a DOL investigation into violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
As long as they don’t smoke, the 600 employees of Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore can get free annual physical exams and discounted medical plan premiums.
Q. We hired an intern for the summer. She was eager to work for free to add it to her résumé ... We told her that after this week we won’t need her. That’s when she said we owe her minimum wage or she’ll complain to the Department of Labor. Do we really have to pay her?
We do a good job of keeping our noses to the grindstone here in the United States, where the average employee puts in 1,798 hours per year. But we’ve got nothing on the world’s hardest-working industrialized countries.
Whether you offer health benefits or not, by Oct. 1, 2013, you must tell employees they can buy coverage through state-based exchanges. The DOL has issued model notice language you are free to use.
New research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that the wage gap between working men and women will not close until the year 2057.
The United States may be mired in a tepid economic recovery, but it’s worse in other countries. One indicator: In 12 of 13 industrial economies surveyed by the nonprofit WorldatWork organization, real salary budgets declined from 2012 to 2013.