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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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The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equally for substantially equal work. Gender can’t be a salary factor. That doesn’t mean employers don’t have considerable flexibility when setting salaries. The fact is that dozens of reasons that have nothing to do with the applicant’s sex may jus­tify different pay scales.

Some people will do anything to get out of work early, including lying about their child’s health. One employer did the smart thing and demanded proof when it became suspicious.
A federal judge has added two New Jersey women to a national class-­action lawsuit against defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The women claim they were put on slower career paths that provided fewer promotion possibilities and lower pay than men in comparable jobs.
Employees who fail to return to work after taking medical leave can’t claim unemployment benefits if there was a job available when they were medically cleared to work.
Q. We have an employee who has been off work for more than 10 months because of a workers’ comp-covered injury. We have no idea when she may possibly be able to return to work. Are we absolutely required under the law to give this employee her job back whenever she believes she is ready to return to work, no matter how long she has been out?

Pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca has agreed to settle a gender pay bias claim, and the consent decree that spells out the terms of the settlement could affect North Carolina women who work for the company. Under the settlement, 124 female pharmaceutical sales specialists will split $250,000.

Employers are now free under federal law to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. But Minnesota employers need to be aware of a crucial difference between federal and state laws.
Employees who quit because of substantially reduced pay may be able to collect unemployment. However, they can’t merely speculate that a new pay system will result in lower pay.
Employees sometimes think that employers have to accommodate all their schedule requests. Not usually. Often, employees fired for refusing to work their scheduled hours expect to receive unemployment benefits.
An employee who reports a serious safety hazard and stops coming to work after the employer refuses to fix the hazard may collect unemployment benefits. But that’s not true if the employee doesn’t give the employer a chance to remedy the problem and just quits out of fear.
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