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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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After a five-day strike, registered nurses have started returning to their jobs at Children’s Hospital in Oak­land. The nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, walked out on May 5 over a dispute about health care benefits.
Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney has a bone to pick with some city restaurants. When customers charge their meals, he claims the restaurants deduct from waiters’ tips the credit-card processing fees businesses must pay. Kenney has introduced a bill in the City Council to bar the practice.
The New York State Department of Labor has issued notification templates New York employers can use to comply with the state’s new Wage Theft Prevention Act. The law, which went into effect April 9, requires employers to provide every employee with a statement detailing the following information:
Question: An employee who has child support withheld from his pay declared bankruptcy. We received a bankruptcy order that requires us to withhold $330 monthly. However, the Consumer Credit Protection Act says not more than 50% of an employee’s disposable pay can be withheld for child support. The bankruptcy trustee said that the 50% limit doesn’t apply, but this seems wrong to us. Who’s correct?
Employers must be careful not to give tipped employees too many additional duties to complete before, during or after their tip-generating activities. If more than about 20% of their time is spent on such activities, you may have to pay them the full minimum wage for those hours, regardless of how much they earn in tips during the shift.
If your organization uses independent contractors, watch out. The IRS will come after you for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
With gas prices bouncing around near the $4-per-gallon mark, some employers are looking again at ways to help employees keep their tanks filled—or at least get to work each day. Here are some options for you and your employees:

Here’s something to consider when setting pay rates for jobs in different locations and with slightly different responsibilities: Under the Equal Pay Act, employers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations.

The DOL has issued final regulations, effective May 5, 2011, that clarify and conform the FLSA regs to the current law. While most of the changes the final regs make are technical, employers that pay based on the fluctuating workweek method and employers that take the tip credit are specifically affected.
Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz.
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