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. We recently needed to cut back on some of our employees’ shifts, meaning that some of them now work less than 40 hours per week. In order to bring their hours up to 40, these workers have been filling in their time sheets with varying amounts of their earned vacation. Are we permitted to restrict when our employees may use their earned vacation?

Q. We want to terminate an underperforming employee and are considering offering a severance agreement in which we agree not to contest unemployment benefits and he agrees to resign and release the company from any claims. Is that OK?
In Minnesota, an employee who has a medical condition that prevents him from working can still collect unemployment benefits if he quits. But before he quits, he has to tell his employer about the medical problem so the employer has a chance to offer time off and continued employment when he returns.

The IRS has announced that the amount employees can defer on a pretax basis into 401(k) accounts goes up to $17,500 in 2013.

President Obama’s re-election ensured that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care reform law will remain in effect. That means the nature of health insurance benefits will change dramatically by 2014, and HR executives have some huge decisions to make about their options.

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Com­pen­sation is trying to reduce the amount of powerful narcotics prescribed for injured workers receiving workers’ comp benefits.

Chief Executive magazine recently completed its annual survey of CEO and senior executive compensation in private companies, based on responses from 1,100 private companies. Some research highlights:

Locate plans that suit your workforce at The site, run by the U.S. Depart­­ment of Health and Human Ser­­v­­ices, identifies health insurance carriers serving the small business market in your area.

The Papa John’s pizza chain made headlines recently when it became one of the first national businesses to estimate a specific per-customer cost of the Affordable Care Act. CEO John Schnatter figured the law will cost him between 11 and 14 cents more per pizza.
If you were waiting until after last week's presidential election to begin implementing health benefit changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act, it’s time to kick your planning into high gear. With President Obama's re-election, the ACA is sure to be fully implemented come 2014. Already, critical compliance deadlines are looming.
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