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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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Good news: A new EBSA website offers valuable information you can use to educate your employees about their benefits. Bad news: One of EBSA’s goals for the new site is to make it easier for employees to file complaints about their benefits.

Do you offer extra off-duty training for employees that, while technically voluntary, is strongly recommended? If training participants are hourly employees, chances are you will have to pay them for this time.

Busy employees who work for Sunny­vale, Calif.-based Akraya Inc., don’t have time to clean their houses—so the company does it for them. The IT consulting and staffing firm sends a professional cleaning service to their homes once every two weeks.

Businesses must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. Further complicating matters, most states have their own laws that override the federal requirements. To comply, you first must know which laws apply to your business, based on the number of people you employ ...

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?
Rep. Cliff Stearns, who represents Florida’s 6th Congressional District, has proposed legislation to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, abolishing a provision that lets employers pay less than the minimum wage to some disabled workers.

The U.S. District Court for West­ern Pennsylvania has ordered Kevin T. Weir, chief executive officer of Liberty-Pittsburgh Inc., to repay $67,138 to his employee’s 401(k) plan. The settlement resulted from an in­vestigation by the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor’s EBSA.

Here’s an unexpected factor to consider when an employee requests part-time work following childbearing leave: How you set her pay rate may create Equal Pay Act problems.

Employees generally aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation if they leave their jobs voluntarily. On the other hand, employees are eligible if they leave for “compelling and necessitous” reasons. One of those reasons may be a drastic reduction in available work.

Q, My company tracks the hours of nonexempt em­­ployees using a time clock. In determining their wages, can we round up or down to the nearest five-minute increment?
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