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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.

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How much your organization pays for unemployment in­­surance is based, in part, on how many of your former employees have successfully filed claims against you. Under­standing who is eligible for unemployment benefits and who isn’t can go a long way toward keeping insurance rates low. It starts with how you terminate an employee.
Q. Our employee handbook says nonexempt retail em­­ployees can take an unpaid 30-minute lunch break. However, our store is often very busy and employees often take lunch breaks of only 10 to 15 minutes. Should employees be paid?
The average pay raise will be modest this year—around 3%—compared to about 4% from 2005 to 2008, just before the economy tanked. Here are a dozen pay trends to consider as your organization weighs how to structure compensation in an age of diminished expectations.
The Sheetz gas-and-grocery retail chain is building a new health and wellness center at its distribution facility in Claysburg, Pa., for employees and their families. Bill Young, director of compensation, benefits and risk management, calls the center part of the firm’s “Shwellness” program.
Amtrak will give an HR executive working at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station a salary boost of almost $16,000 to bring her into parity with what the railroad pays men doing the same job. She will also receive a lump-sum payment of $171,000.
There may be a class-action lawsuit lurking in your delivery charges if you automatically tack on extra fees for delivering pizza or other food directly to homes or businesses and that money doesn’t go straight to the delivery drivers.
The Texas Legislature has amended the Texas Labor Code to limit un­­employment benefits for employees who receive severance pay after losing their jobs.
When an employee’s workload is reduced and her pay declines because she’s working fewer hours, she may be able to sue. The pay reduction qualifies as an adverse action, which can trigger litigation.

United Space Alliance, a cooperative venture between aerospace giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has refused to turn over payroll records from its Cape Canaveral facility to federal investigators. The request follows a 2009 investigation of the company’s affirmative action program by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

A federal court has ruled that work done by civilly committed sex offenders as part of their treatment program is exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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