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 have received résumés from many college students looking for unpaid positions this fall. Would we need to pay these interns?
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified who can sue for unpaid benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
A federal court has rejected a bid by two former employees to represent other similarly situated employees, based on the employer’s claim of conflict of interest. The court agreed that these particular employees weren’t the best choice to represent other workers.
The Court of Appeal of California has finally clarified how much em­­ployers owe employees who don’t get their required meal and other breaks. The penalty is two hours of pay per day if workers missed both types of breaks.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines in August that require health insurance plans to cover eight different kinds of women’s preventive serv­ices without charging a co-payment or deductible.
Q. We have medical providers at our clinic who are paid straight commission based on the number of patients treated and the treatment cost. Sometimes, they block time out of their schedules to attend training on laser techniques or continuing medical training for their licenses. I know that most employees must be paid for training time, but this is different. Do we have to pay them?

Congratulations! You’ve cleared the first wellness hurdle: Executives have finally agreed to implement a wellness program. But now they’re asking for hard evidence that the company’s financial investment in the program will pay off. If measuring your program’s ROI seems akin to scaling Mount Everest, take comfort in the fact that more and more employers are successfully making the climb.

The total number of people who worked from home or another remote location for an entire day at least once a month has declined for the first time since the non­profit WorldatWork began measuring telework in 2003. The pull-back from telework reflects a psychological shift driven by the anemic economy, according to authors of a WorldatWork report.

Work/life issues are no longer women’s domain. Surveys by the Boston College Cen­ter for Work & Family and World­at­Work agree that men are struggling to balance the need to both care for their families and work to support them. Here are 11 recommendations from the surveys’ authors:

The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 59% of employees miss work at some point during the year because child- or elder-care arrangements fall through. Home improvement retailer Home Depot has decided to tackle the problem for its employees by providing a backup dependent-care benefit.
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