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 Nebraska state government reduced employee health claims by $4.2 million over three years after introducing a wellness program that features 100% coverage of preventive health care and lower premiums. The effort led Nebraska to become the first state to win the C. Everett Koop National Health Award.

In the waning hours of New Year’s Day, Congress passed legislation averting a plunge off the "fiscal cliff" and making permanent Bush-era tax rates for all but the highest earners. Now employers can finally make concrete plans for their 2013 payroll operations.
Some workers aren’t terribly diligent about finding work once they are laid off and deemed eligible for unemployment compensation. A court has ruled that a good-faith effort to find work certainly requires more than a handful of hours a week making phone calls and searching the web.
Employees who get into arguments may be violating workplace rules. But that doesn’t mean that firing them cuts off possible unemployment compensation benefits.
Q. One of our employees received a jury duty summons. What are our obligations towards the employee in terms of pay and leave?
The IRS has announced final regulations governing new fees—payable by health insurers and employer sponsors of self-insured health plans—that will help fund a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Q. We have recently needed to cut back on some of our employees’ shifts, meaning that some of our workers are now working fewer than 40 hours per week. In order to bring their hours up to 40, these workers have been filling their time sheets with varying amounts of their earned vacation. Are we permitted to restrict when our employees use their earned vacation?
The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour in 2013, but the minimum wage will rise in at least seven states on Jan. 1.
Q. We need some of our employees to work during the holidays. Are we required to pay them extra for those days?

Execs at Cleveland-based KeyBank figure there’s something to be said for keeping the same medical administrator on staff for more than a decade. In fact, they call it part of their “commitment to wellness.” The organization’s aim: to drive down medical costs by helping employees im­­prove their health and become more involved in their own well-being.