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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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Pay-for-performance continues to define U.S. employers’ compensation strategies. According to a new study by the WorldatWork nonprofit, 72% of 600 organizations surveyed report that they directly tie pay raises to job performance—and 67% say their best employees earn increases that are 1.5 times higher than those of average workers.
A Harris Poll of 2,255 U.S. adults found us making these money-related resolutions for 2015.
The IRS has begun to examine the tax treatment of employer-provided free meals, such as those famously provided by Silicon Valley tech firms like Google.
Have technology and the global economy made it just about impossible to compartmentalize work and life separately?
A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor finds that somewhere between 3.5% and 6.5% of workers in New York earn less than the minimum wage. The study, performed by Eastern Research Group, showed that more than 300,000 New York workers were being paid illegally low wages.
American businesses are benefiting from lower energy costs and rising sales, a fact not lost on unions and employees. Signs that employees expect a bigger piece of the pie abound everywhere, from your local McDonald’s restaurant (the symbolic focus of efforts to raise the minimum wage) to the airline industry.
Health coverage for employees’ spouses and dependents is on the chopping block as employers seek to rein in health care costs and avoid the Affordable Care Act “Cadillac tax” on high-value insurance plans set to take effect in 2018.
Travis Transit Management of Austin has agreed to pay 600 current and former employees $655,000 to settle charges it unilaterally changed employee health, retirement and other benefits when it began providing bus service for Austin’s Capital Metro in 2012.
Q. Can we ask an employee to work one day at a certain position for $25 per hour and the next day work a different position for only $21 per hour? Employees on a rig crew switch positions many times, so one day they may be a rig operator, and the next day a derrick hand.

The average 401(k) balance on retirement accounts registered with the Vanguard mutual fund company was $101,650 in mid-2014. That’s up a whopping 80% since the end of 2008.

More than half of employers with 1,000 or more employees are unprepared to comply with all Affordable Care Act regulatory requirements, but they are moving ahead with plans to deal with ongoing changes in the benefits landscape that the health care reform law has spawned.
The Obama administration has unveiled a series of proposals to provide paid family leave for new parents and seven days of paid sick leave for all American workers.
A lot of moms work for the maker of Guinness beer and Smirnoff vodka, so Diageo North America has a lot benefits to keep them on board.
Wage-and-hour issues could take center stage in 2015, with federal, state and local legislative battles looming over increases to the minimum wage, more wage-and-hour litigation and proposed regulations that could dramatically narrow the overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A worker who files a Fair Labor Stand­­ards Act lawsuit claiming unpaid wages must actually set out facts showing that he wasn’t properly paid. Mere allegations aren't enough.
Illinois employers must begin offering a retirement savings plan to employees starting in June 2017. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act on Jan. 4, making Illinois the first state to require employers to provide retirement benefits.
An employee who doesn’t receive the commissions he believes he is owed can quit and still receive unemployment compensation.
Get ready to explain your compensation policy, but also be prepared to point out these illuminating facts to counter their arguments.

The newly enacted Healthy Work­­places, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, starting on July 1. This is the first of a two-part series designed to get you up to speed on exactly what the new law requires.

Q. I recently allowed one of my hourly employees to telecommute full time. What actions must I take to ensure proper payment of her wages?
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