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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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Outback Steakhouse has agreed to pay $1.25 million to Minnesota em­­ployees to remedy what servers at the restaurant chain said was an illegal tip-pooling procedure under state law.
Employees who quit for medically related reasons can sometimes collect unemployment compensation if they are still ready and able to work elsewhere. However, to claim that medical reasons required resigning, employees have to prove the employer knew about but didn’t accommodate their medical problems.

Effective Jan. 1, 2012, Ohio’s state minimum wage rises from $7.40 per hour to $7.70 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees increases to $3.85 per hour. Employers must still ensure that tipped workers’ wages and tips add up to the state’s new minimum wage of $7.70.

Health insurance premiums paid by employers this year rose by 9% from 2010, much faster than workers’ wages (2.1%) and general inflation (3.2%), according to a Kaiser Family Foundation annual report.

Conventional wisdom says that paying employees well goes a long way toward making them feel like they’re treated fairly. Not necessarily. Employees don’t consider pay or salary increases as the top factor in determining whether they are rewarded fairly, according to a new study.

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.
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