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.

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.
Q. One of our executives will be making day trips once a week to Boston from Philadelphia for a special assignment. Do we have to compensate the secretary (she is nonexempt) for her travel time to and from Boston?

Under interim final regulations for the Affordable Care Act that were issued last year, grandfathered group health plans—those in place on March 23, 2010, when the law was enacted—don’t have to comply with substantial portions of the health care reform law. But there’s a catch: Those plans are limited in the changes they can make.

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equally for substantially equal work. Gender can’t be a salary factor. That doesn’t mean employers don’t have considerable flexibility when setting salaries. The fact is that dozens of reasons that have nothing to do with the applicant’s sex may jus­tify different pay scales.

Employees who quit because of substantially reduced pay may be able to collect unemployment. However, they can’t merely speculate that a new pay system will result in lower pay.
Employees sometimes think that employers have to accommodate all their schedule requests. Not usually. Often, employees fired for refusing to work their scheduled hours expect to receive unemployment benefits.
A former employee of Brunel Energy Inc. is suing the company for failing to notify her of her right to maintain her health insurance coverage after she quit in 2010—and she has proposed making the case a class-action lawsuit that could involve hundreds of other former employees.
An employee who reports a serious safety hazard and stops coming to work after the employer refuses to fix the hazard may collect unemployment benefits. But that’s not true if the employee doesn’t give the employer a chance to remedy the problem and just quits out of fear.
The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that, under some circumstances, an ordinance that governs the work of public employees and specifies benefits may be enforceable as a contract.

Pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca has agreed to settle a gender pay bias claim, and the consent decree that spells out the terms of the settlement could affect North Carolina women who work for the company. Under the settlement, 124 female pharmaceutical sales specialists will split $250,000.