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.

For the first time since 1980, the rate of U.S. inflation (3.2% for the 12 months ending in April) is running higher than the average salary budget increase (2.8% average salary budget increase in 2011).

Pregnant employees of Verizon Wire­less can keep in shape with Pilates for Pregnancy classes and nutrition seminars. They also can participate in online physician seminars throughout their pregnancies. The perks are part of the organization’s wellness program.

Q. One of our employees ran an errand for us to pick up $700 in cash. He says he lost it. Can we make him pay it back?
In what could be the start of a national trend, Connecticut lawmakers OK’d a new law that requires employers with 50 or more workers in Connecticut to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to their “service workers.”

Issue: Maintaining personnel files is a chore, but it's the most important element in defending lawsuits and regulatory claims. Risk: Failing to organize your files correctly exposes you to civil ...

When an employee owes the company money, it may be tempting to simply deduct it from his or her next paycheck. But in New York, that can be a big mistake. Over the past couple of years, the New York State Department of Labor has issued several opinion letters that significantly narrow its interpretation of New York Labor Law Section 193.

Employees who quit after being told they may be terminated aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s especially true if quitting provides another benefit, such as the ability to use the employer as a reference.
Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.

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

Q. Occasionally, when we receive a big order, our nonexempt employees are required to work through their lunch break. Although we do not pay them overtime for this work, we buy pizzas and sodas for all the affected workers. Is this lawful?