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.

As you manage the scheduling head­­aches that come with summer vacations, it may be time to entirely reconsider how you handle employee leave. One option: Switch from a traditional time-off program to a paid time off (PTO) bank. Before you make the switch, you’ll ask some basic questions:

Marketing software company HubSpot ditched its vacation policy a year ago, along with paid-time-off forms and vaca­tion rollover. Now, if employees want to take time off, they just take it. CEO Brian Halligan calls the standard corporate vacation policy “a relic of an era when people worked 9 to 5 in an office.”

Q. One of the owners suggested that paid time off for employees should not be a set benefit, but a bonus. Can we just award paid time off as a bonus to some employees and not to others?
More employers are offering to let ­workers collect their pay on reloadable, prepaid bank cards. But make sure you know your state law: Most states prohibit employers from mandating that workers receive pay electronically.
On average, 30% to 40% of an employee’s total compensation is wrapped up in benefits. Unfortunately, that information is often invisible to employees. The most effective way to make sure employees really know about the benefits you offer, their value and why they’re a great deal is to tell them face-to-face.
Curt Lansbery, CEO of North American Tool, couldn’t understand why his employees weren’t maxing out their 401(k) contributions, even though the company kicked in. Here's how he prompted employees to take action.
Under the Equal Pay Act, em­­ployers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations. In other words, you aren’t required to pay a manager in New York City the same as one in a lower-cost locale, even if the New York manager is male and the manager in the other location is female. Plus, any differences in responsibilities can help justify the difference.
There's no sense in becoming a pack rat if you don't need to. While the legal requirements to retain records are complex, you're probably safe in dumping those 1984 vacation-day requests. Still, knowing which records to save or toss can be critical to your business, particularly in defending against a lawsuit.
Friction often exists between HR and supervisors because those front-line bosses don’t fully understand your HR role … and they may hold certain stereotypes about your department. Advice: Set the stage for HR-management collaboration with an “HR for managers” meeting. Explain how key HR functions practically benefit managers and their departments.
Telecommunications giant Verizon has agreed to settle a nationwide class-action lawsuit brought by its disabled employees. In all, the company will pay out about $20 million to employees who missed work for reasons related to their disabilities. The lawsuit, filed by the EEOC on behalf of disabled Verizon workers across the country, claims Verizon’s “no-fault” attendance policy violates the ADA.