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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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Q. We’re looking to hire a few new workers. What is the least amount we need to pay them?

If your organization’s fiscal calendar works like many others, you’re right in the middle of the busiest time of the year. It’s budget season! While you’re reviewing past expenditures and making projections for 2011, don’t forget to factor in one of the most crucial aspects of the budget process: Convincing your chief financial officer to back your HR budget proposal.

As you hire employees to replace the ones who leave your organization as the economy improves, you might find that experienced, mature workers are willing to work as interns to get their feet in the door. Nearly a quarter of employers said workers with 10-plus years of experience who are age 50 or older are applying for internships, according to a CareerBuilder poll.

Orlando-based Central Florida Investments will pay $868,443 in back pay and overtime to 1,065 employees to settle a complaint filed with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

California employees who sue their employers for minimum wage violations and win will be able to collect twice as much if a recently passed bill becomes law. A.B. 1881 would amend the California Labor Code to allow employees to sue for twice the amount they were underpaid, plus interest.

Q. Is it legal for us to strongly encourage our employees to have money withheld from their paychecks to support a charity drive, like the United Way?
Q. Can our company require an independent contractor to wear a specific uniform? And can we stipulate that the contractor buy the uniform through us?
Some temporary agencies and employee-leasing firms sell their clients on the idea that temp workers won’t be employees of the client. Instead, they will be either independent contractors or employees of the temp agency. Those claims may not hold up in court, because North Carolina has strict tests for who is an employee and who isn’t.
Q. One of our hourly employees ($15 per hour) arrives late way too often. We’d like her to get here on time so we’re considering cutting her hourly rate when she arrives late. For example, if she arrives an hour late, we would not pay her for the hour and cut her pay to minimum wage for the rest of the day. Can we do that?
If you're responsible for approving time sheets or signing off on alterations to the hours reported by employees, take note: It's not just your organization that risks a big fine and costly litigation. Your personal assets are also at risk, as a new court ruling shows.
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