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.

The contentious tax law signed by President Obama last week brings tax savings to workers nationwide—and contains several provisions that will affect HR. Here's a round-up of various elements—from Social Security withholding to tuition reimbursement to on-site child care—that you'll have to deal with when the law takes effect on Jan. 1.

How understandable are your employee paystubs? Do you get repeated questions about the same line items? As the following case shows, inconsistent payment methods and ambiguous deduction rules may spark employees to band together and sue.

The EEOC has filed suit against Hyundai Ideal Electric in Mansfield for allegedly firing a woman in retaliation for complaining about a pay disparity. Tabitha Wagner, a drafter, complained that she earned less than a similarly situated male drafter with less seniority. In the suit, Wagner claims she complained to HR Manager Jon Shearer on Nov. 11, 2008. Shearer terminated her the next day.

Without admitting any wrongdoing, the Ohio state government has settled a religious discrimination suit brought by three former members of the Workers’ Compensation Council. The three workers will split $55,000, plus $15,000 in attorneys’ fees after they were fired in February by Council Director Virginia McInerney.

Q. We’re looking to hire a few new workers. What is the least amount we need to pay them?

If your organization’s fiscal calendar works like many others, you’re right in the middle of the busiest time of the year. It’s budget season! While you’re reviewing past expenditures and making projections for 2011, don’t forget to factor in one of the most crucial aspects of the budget process: Convincing your chief financial officer to back your HR budget proposal.

As you hire employees to replace the ones who leave your organization as the economy improves, you might find that experienced, mature workers are willing to work as interns to get their feet in the door. Nearly a quarter of employers said workers with 10-plus years of experience who are age 50 or older are applying for internships, according to a CareerBuilder poll.

Orlando-based Central Florida Investments will pay $868,443 in back pay and overtime to 1,065 employees to settle a complaint filed with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

California employees who sue their employers for minimum wage violations and win will be able to collect twice as much if a recently passed bill becomes law. A.B. 1881 would amend the California Labor Code to allow employees to sue for twice the amount they were underpaid, plus interest.

Q. Is it legal for us to strongly encourage our employees to have money withheld from their paychecks to support a charity drive, like the United Way?