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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Deloitte has adjusted the salaries of employees who include domestic partners on their medical or dental plans to help offset the taxes they have to pay on the benefit. The perk is available to employees living with same- or opposite-sex registered domestic partners.
Q. Can we legally prohibit female workers from breastfeeding at work?
A federal district court has ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by prohibiting California same-sex couples from signing up for long-term care insurance through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Q. We sometimes require our hourly employees to commute from the office to a two-day meeting that includes company-sponsored social activities and an overnight stay. They then return to the office after meetings on the second day. How do we pay them for this time?
In Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp., the 7th Circuit held that an employer wasn’t required to pay employees for time spent changing into and out of work clothes and time spent traveling to and from the locker room and the work area.
Any adverse employment action—including withholding an ex­­pected pay increase—can form the basis for a discrimination lawsuit. If you hold back raises to punish rule-breaking, make sure you can show you do so impartially.
Offering disability benefits to an employee doesn’t prevent an em­­ployer from later contending that the employee is not actually disabled.
The Minnesota state government has settled the last age discrimination claims resulting from early retirement packages offered to state employees.
Courts have spent considerable time sorting out the impact of Title VII on defined-benefit pension programs. Does an employer have to equalize the total amount male and female retirees receive? The answer is no.

With workforces lean, it’s important to squeeze every bit of productivity out of employees. But squeeze too hard by not providing employees with state-mandated meal or rest breaks, and you’re likely to face a lawsuit. Two recent cases illustrate.

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