Compensation and Benefits — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 50
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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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At Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis, a diverse workforce is one that includes working parents. Steve Fry, senior VP of HR and diversity, says, “Family-friendly work schedules and benefits are about having lower stress levels, maintaining better health and enabling a stronger focus when at work––all leading to enhanced engagement, increased innovation and ultimately better results.”
ERISA allows employees to sue if they believe they suffered retaliation for giving information or testifying in an ERISA proceeding. Until now, employers assumed that an employee had to at least make a formal complaint to the DOL before he could sue for retaliation. That’s no longer true.
As the legislative wrangling to avert a plunge over the federal budget’s fiscal cliff heated up late last year, the IRS released its list of the nation’s biggest tax breaks. Three of the top 10 involved employee benefits.
When employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina don’t feel well, they can log onto the Internet and find out why. The company has partnered with Ameri­­can Well and Walgreens Take Care Health Systems to create a telehealth service for employees.

The DOL says meal times are paid time unless employees are completely relieved of their duties during breaks. The 8th Circuit says the correct rule is that employers can require employees to be ready to work during meal times without affecting its unpaid status. This is known as the “predomi­nantly for the benefit of the employer” standard.

Not every complaint about what might be construed as a benefit amounts to protected activity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The Nebraska state government reduced employee health claims by $4.2 million over three years after introducing a wellness program that features 100% coverage of preventive health care and lower premiums. The effort led Nebraska to become the first state to win the C. Everett Koop National Health Award.

In the waning hours of New Year’s Day, Congress passed legislation averting a plunge off the "fiscal cliff" and making permanent Bush-era tax rates for all but the highest earners. Now employers can finally make concrete plans for their 2013 payroll operations.
Some workers aren’t terribly diligent about finding work once they are laid off and deemed eligible for unemployment compensation. A court has ruled that a good-faith effort to find work certainly requires more than a handful of hours a week making phone calls and searching the web.
Employees who get into arguments may be violating workplace rules. But that doesn’t mean that firing them cuts off possible unemployment compensation benefits.
Q. One of our employees received a jury duty summons. What are our obligations towards the employee in terms of pay and leave?
The IRS has announced final regulations governing new fees—payable by health insurers and employer sponsors of self-insured health plans—that will help fund a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Q. We have recently needed to cut back on some of our employees’ shifts, meaning that some of our workers are now working fewer than 40 hours per week. In order to bring their hours up to 40, these workers have been filling their time sheets with varying amounts of their earned vacation. Are we permitted to restrict when our employees use their earned vacation?
The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour in 2013, but the minimum wage will rise in at least seven states on Jan. 1.
Q. We need some of our employees to work during the holidays. Are we required to pay them extra for those days?

Execs at Cleveland-based KeyBank figure there’s something to be said for keeping the same medical administrator on staff for more than a decade. In fact, they call it part of their “commitment to wellness.” The organization’s aim: to drive down medical costs by helping employees im­­prove their health and become more involved in their own well-being.

You no doubt know that employers have to provide for meal breaks under California law. But how far do you have to go to force employees to actually take the break? It turns out, not very far.
Don’t confuse Uncle Sam with Santa Claus. When it comes to violating pay laws around the holidays, the feds won’t be generous if your organization is on the naughty list. Here are four rules to make sure holiday pay complies with the FLSA and IRS rules.
Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $15,745 this year, up 4% from last year, with workers on average paying $4,316 toward the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Q. With the start of the school year, several of our employees have asked to leave work early to attend parent orientation events at their child’s school. Are we obligated to grant employees time off for these events?

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