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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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During these difficult economic times, small and midsize businesses are looking for ways to reduce their employment costs—while maintaining employee benefits and gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many employers are looking at alternative staffing models to meet those objectives.

’Tis the season for employees to be stressed and distracted by online shopping, post-party hangovers, visiting relatives, end-of-year deadlines, money woes and sugar-induced belly­aches. Here’s what to watch out for when the holidays are just around the corner.

The IRS says employer-provided cell phones are no longer a taxable fringe benefit. That means em­­­­ployees don’t have to pay federal income tax on any personal use of their phones—and you can quit keeping track of ­personal-use minutes for payroll purposes.
Employers can regulate what employees do away from work—but only within narrow limits. There are often good reasons to. Some off-duty acts reflect poorly on employers, raise insurance costs and create conflicts of interest. Here's how to make the call.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the sweeping federal health-care reform law enacted in 2010, deciding the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s signature domestic policy achievement. No matter how the High Court rules, its decision could affect HR and employee benefits for years to come.
For plan years beginning Sept. 23, 2011, unless the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grants a waiver, group health plans that impose annual or lifetime limits on the dollar value of essential benefits are restricted to imposing an annual limit of $1.25 million.
When former employees file for unemployment compensation after they quit for medical reasons, some employers routinely challenge the claims. But whether an employee is eligible to receive unemployment benefits depends on the specific circumstances of the case.
Butler County may have to pony up more than $100,000 to settle claims it discriminated against a small group of female county employees, all over age 40, who were forced to take pay cuts last year.
Q. With the new school year under way, can you ­give me a rundown on the rules governing our obligation to grant workers time off to participate in their children’s school-­related activities?
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that former employees who believe they are missing out on ERISA-protected benefits have four years to sue for those benefits after their request is formally denied.
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