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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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The EEOC and the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) have settled claims that the company denied benefits and locked out disabled workers before a plant shutdown in Fremont.
The state of Illinois has taken a series of steps to cut employers’ workers’ compensation costs. Employers should consult with their workers’ comp carriers to ensure workplace injury reporting procedures and posted notices are up-to-date and comply with the new law. The following reforms took effect Sept. 1:
The Fair Labor Standards Act grants many rights to workers, in­­cluding the right to overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a workweek. It does not, however, prevent employers from lowering hourly wages if they choose to do so.

The FMLA was enacted to let workers briefly put their careers on hold to tend to pressing personal matters like illness, childbirth and adoption, eldercare and other covered events. It was not designed to enable them to avoid discipline. That’s why the law specifically states that employers don’t have to give returning employees benefits they would not have received if they hadn’t taken FMLA leave.

Employees who file for Social Security disability benefits, alleging they are totally disabled, sometimes have ADA cases pending. If you discover that’s the case, scour your files for evidence of contradictory claims. You may be able to get the ADA lawsuit dismissed.

With pressure on wages still tight, employers are whipping up new employee perks almost every day. The problem, of course, is that no one consults Payroll before the big rollout to employees. That’s a mistake, since perks are taxable, unless the tax code says they’re not.

It’s 1999 all over again for at least some in-demand job candidates and employees: those with IT expertise. Companies looking to lure candidates are offering unusually generous inducements and perks. Who’s benefiting from the largesse? Cloud computing engineers, data security experts, mobile app developers and tech sales people.
Employees who were automatically enrolled in a defined contribution retirement plan—401(k)s and 403(b)s, for example—and who participate in automatic contribution increase programs have a 25% higher contribution rate than other employees, according to the Mercer consulting firm.
A common gripe among employees is that they don’t understand their health care plans. As a result, they end up making mistakes and choosing plans that don’t meet their health care needs or budgets. The federal government aims to diminish confusion by changing the way employers explain health care plans to employees.

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a busy time for many HR departments. Questions regarding overtime, holiday pay and seasonal hires often arise. As long as you know the FLSA rules on holiday pay and holiday scheduling, you’ll skate through the season in good cheer.

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