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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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Employees of Boston-based C-4 Analytics joke that they “already get to play on Facebook all day” as part of their work as digital marketers, says managing partner Michael Weiss. Yet execs have woven time into employee schedules to get them away from their workstations to “recharge their creativity and focus.”

An employee doesn’t become an independent contractor just by signing an agreement that says so. Courts use several tests to make that determination.
Safeway is making its support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and shoppers visible with some perks for workers and the communities where its grocery stores are located.
In December, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation eliminating employers’ obligation to file an annual statement under the Wage Theft Protection Act. The annual statement provided a snapshot of pay rates and to employees each January.
Employers must pay for the time em­­ployees spend sitting at their desks if they aren’t allowed to leave—even if they aren’t doing any work.
Women invest 6% to 12% more than men in defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s, according to the Vanguard investment firm’s “2014 How America Saves” report.
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.
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