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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.

When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster began, hundreds of Panhandle workers signed up to receive training on how to safely clean up the mess. Now that they have completed the program, some are complaining that they can’t start working because their employers are withholding the certificates. OSHA is looking into the complaints ...
Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz ...
Sometimes, you really do need to recruit someone from outside the organization—someone who may already be earning more than you usually pay your employees. When making a hire like that, make sure you document why you chose to top existing salaries, especially if the new hire is the opposite sex of any incumbents.

On paper, internships are good for everyone. Interns learn a business and make connections in organizations where they hope to one day get jobs. In turn, businesses pay nearly nothing for work that needs to be done. However, the U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a fact sheet that casts that equation into doubt.

The more control an employer tries to assert over a worker it intends to treat as an independent contractor, the more likely that worker is actually an employee. That’s why you should make sure independent contractors have the leeway to work for others and maintain their own schedules.

Q. Our organization requires employees to wear uniforms on the job. Do we have an obligation to pay for the uniforms?
The California Supreme Court has issued a decision in a closely watched construction liability case that involved an independent contractor’s injury. It concluded that true independent contractors working in construction are responsible for making sure the workplace is safe and can’t claim that the hiring contractor or owner was liable for any resulting injuries.
Chicago-based Standard Parking Corp. recently settled a wage-and-hour lawsuit brought by current and former California parking attendants, valets and cashiers. The company will pay more than $4 million to some 7,100 employees.
Q. We have always paid our waiters less than the minimum wage because of the tips they earn. Are we permitted to count tips as part of the minimum wage as long as we notify our employees of this practice and their actual tips equal or exceed the tip credit?
The Court of Appeals of North Carolina has ruled that employees who seek workers’ compensation have to show that their employer was a covered employer. That means they must show that the business had three or more regular employees.