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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.

This summer, Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed a bill raising fines for employers that knowingly fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The new law also sets higher penalties for employers that misrepresent employees as independent contractors.

Several states peg the minimum wage to the cost of living. For decades, inflation has meant cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that delivered regular pay raises. But what's happening now that the cost of living has declined 1.3% so far this year?

Ten states tie increases in the minimum wages to the inflation rate: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Since the cost of living has actually declined this year, none of those states will see an increase in their minimum wages.

Sometimes, it pays to take the time and spend the money to have legal experts carefully review your proposed actions. That’s especially true if your company is changing the way it does business in a fundamental way and wants employees to sign off on changes that dramatically affect how they are paid or whether they remain employees.

If discrimination has always been a head-in-the-sand issue for you and your organization, it’s time to get serious about your policies and practices. Discrimination complaints of all types—race, sex, age, etc.—have skyrocketed in the past year as the economy has fallen. Here's how to avoid becoming one of the EEOC's targets.

Employers that need seasonal employees often rely on foreign workers to fill those slots. Workers from other nations must apply for an H-2B visa before coming to the United States to work. Until now, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had not yet decided whether expenses related to H-2B workers’ travel to the United States had to be reimbursed by the employer. It has now decided that they do not.

Contract truck drivers in Charleston, W.Va., are suing CSX Transportation after accusing the railroad company of paying them less than minimum wage.

The U.S. Department of Labor has cited nine blueberry farms and 17 labor contractors for violations of child labor laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). The farms and contractors operated in Bladen and Craven counties.

A recent federal court decision means you’ll now have to go the extra mile to prove that your worker is an independent contractor, not an employee. Advice: Take steps to document exactly why you believe someone is an independent contractor when you begin using his or her services.

Dr. Walter Broadnax, owner of Cincinnati’s Pain Group, will serve five years’ probation and pay $56,246 in restitution to the state Bureau of Workers Compensation.