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.

Q, We would like to institute a rule subjecting em­­ployees to discipline for clocking in late. Are we permitted to do this even though we round our employees’ time to the nearest quarter-hour?
Workers' compensation premiums are based on the frequency of a company's injury claims. So it's critical to avoid paying claims for accidents that are not covered, as well as investigate potential cases of fraud. Also, return-to-work questions arise in situations where workers' compensation interacts with the ADA and the FMLA.
Without any action by their legislatures, employers in 10 states will experience increases in their minimum wage rates in 2012 because those states tie annual increases in their wage floor to increases in the cost of living.

Execs at Diageo North America en­­courage their employees to live near work as part of its effort to help workers balance their jobs with their home lives. The company also allows employees to job share, flex or compress their hours and telework.

Do you require or strongly rec­ommend that employees attend training sessions outside their regularly scheduled shifts? If training participants are hourly employees, chances are you will have to pay them for their time. Simply calling the training voluntary isn’t good enough ...

Restaurants that use tip pools and rely on the tip credit to justify paying their employees $2.13 per hour rather than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour often grapple with which employees can be included in the pool. It’s not always clear.
While employers are budgeting 2.9% more for base pay in 2012, 92% plan to distribute performance-based bonuses, according to an Aon Corp. survey of 1,500 companies.
The Dol has sued the United Employee Benefit Fund in Northbrook and its trustees, following an investigation by the Employee Benefits Security Admin­istration that found the defendants violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by making improper loans.
A new law allows the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to levy fines of at least $5,000 against employers that misclassify workers and requires the em­­ployers to publicize their violations on their company websites. Em­­ployers face penalties as high as $25,000 for willfully misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

New Jersey and its public employees will pay more for health insurance coverage next year. Rates for 2012 health insurance plans will rise by an average of 9% for active state employees, 3% for retirees and a whopping 10.3% for municipal employees.