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.

Here’s a powerful reason for managers and supervisors in New Jersey to understand the ins and outs of discrimination and labor laws. If they commit a discriminatory act, they could be personally liable.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, with jurisdiction over California employers, has ruled that the federal Rehabilitation Act covers discrimination claims brought by an independent contractor. The Rehabilitation Act applies to federal agencies, government contractors and organizations that receive federal funding.

The Equal Pay Act makes it illegal to base unequal pay on gender. If an employee can show that a violation was “willful,” she has up to three years to sue after the last allegedly discriminatory paycheck; only two years if it’s not willful. Heads up: Courts will probably call any obvious wage disparity a “willful” violation.

Sometimes it seems like supervisors and employees work in entirely different places. Several recent studies show that bosses and front-line employees have widely varying views about their organization’s priorities, morale, compensation and benefits. Here are seven key flashpoints:

Starting Feb. 1, the IRS will begin intensive audits looking into the employment tax compliance of 6,000 randomly selected employers. One key target: identify employers that are improperly misclassifying employees as independent contractors. If your company is selected for audit, follow good IRS examination management practices.

The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each.

It’s time to take a fresh look at the health questionnaires you hand out to employees as part of your wellness program. New federal regulations that prohibit discrimination against people with congenital medical conditions mean you must review health risk assessments to make sure they don’t ask employees to reveal protected information.

The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Still, the flush workplace of 2006 isn’t likely to rush back into vogue. In fact, the historic recession has made a lasting impression on many organizations, which could hang onto the lessons they learned while surviving lean times. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:

Employers, beware if you don’t stay on top of the intricacies of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The fact is, the law is still developing and employers that don’t keep up will be caught. Consider the following case involving the seemingly old question of “donning and doffing” clothing and gear before and after clocking in:

When was the last time you reviewed your company’s bulletin boards in the break room or alongside the time clock? Do they show the correct, updated federal- and state-law posters? A little time spent seeing what’s there—and what’s missing—will keep you in compliance with state and federal laws.