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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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Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour doesn’t require its 3,363 employees to be athletes, but it does look for new hires with a love of sports and fitness. Reason: Team spirit is core to the company’s culture.

On average, U.S. workers took only 14 of the 18 vacation days they earned last year, a total of 448 million unused days. French workers, on the other hand, took 35 of the 37 vacation days they were due.
By now, you probably give workers the option of direct deposit in addition to paper checks. But more employers are beginning to offer a third option—payroll debit cards, or “pay cards.” But before you call your payroll provider or bank to set up a pay card option, understand the legal and practical risks.
As you manage the scheduling head­­aches that come with summer vacations, it may be time to entirely reconsider how you handle employee leave. One option: Switch from a traditional time-off program to a paid time off (PTO) bank. Before you make the switch, you’ll ask some basic questions:

Marketing software company HubSpot ditched its vacation policy a year ago, along with paid-time-off forms and vaca­tion rollover. Now, if employees want to take time off, they just take it. CEO Brian Halligan calls the standard corporate vacation policy “a relic of an era when people worked 9 to 5 in an office.”

Q. One of the owners suggested that paid time off for employees should not be a set benefit, but a bonus. Can we just award paid time off as a bonus to some employees and not to others?
More employers are offering to let ­workers collect their pay on reloadable, prepaid bank cards. But make sure you know your state law: Most states prohibit employers from mandating that workers receive pay electronically.
On average, 30% to 40% of an employee’s total compensation is wrapped up in benefits. Unfortunately, that information is often invisible to employees. The most effective way to make sure employees really know about the benefits you offer, their value and why they’re a great deal is to tell them face-to-face.
Curt Lansbery, CEO of North American Tool, couldn’t understand why his employees weren’t maxing out their 401(k) contributions, even though the company kicked in. Here's how he prompted employees to take action.
Under the Equal Pay Act, em­­ployers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations. In other words, you aren’t required to pay a manager in New York City the same as one in a lower-cost locale, even if the New York manager is male and the manager in the other location is female. Plus, any differences in responsibilities can help justify the difference.
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