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Employee Benefits Program

A strong employee benefits program – including low-cost employee incentives, employee recognition programs, and employee appreciation programs – can help you improve morale and retention.

We provide employee appreciation day ideas, help you with employee retention strategies and employee benefits management

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Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard, and her productivity is only mediocre. If we terminate her, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?

Ohio employees who are discharged for just cause aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation payments. But Ohio courts frequently hesitate to cut off unemployment benefits for one-time conduct that may be outrageous—as long as the employee doesn’t have a history of past disciplinary problems and the employer has a progressive discipline program it didn’t use.

You may have noticed more people than usual lurking outside your executive’s door. That’s because economic fears are prompting more employees to eavesdrop and gossip about what might happen next at their workplaces...

Q. I have heard about a new federal law that makes it possible for a nonemployee to sue our company for discrimination. Is that correct? How could such a claim come up and is there anything we can do about it?

By now, nearly everyone in HR has heard of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), under which unions would have a much easier time becoming certified. Because unions have become more aggressive and more successful at unionization even without the EFCA, I recommend that employers adopt the TEAM approach to keeping their workplaces union-free.

A federal appeals court has made it harder for employees to challenge your decision to deny a benefit covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) recently introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would add mandatory coverage for second opinions on medical treatments under several laws, including ERISA.

Workers can feel left behind when some employees are “allowed” to work from home, while they are firmly planted at the office. “The co-worker who has to stay behind has to get over that, as much as a manager has to get over the idea that the only way to manage is by ‘face time,’” says Rose Stanley, an employee benefits specialist with WorldatWork.

The new economic stimulus law expands the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to allow you to take tax breaks for hiring a great variety of workers. Now you can claim the credit for certain unemployed veterans and “disconnected youths.” Strategy: Request certification of those workers by Aug. 17. The IRS just established this as an extended cutoff date for making requests to state agencies.

Ever had the C-Suite rubber-stamp your HR budget with nary a question or challenge? Neither has Valerie Grubb, who spent most of her career building and justifying budgets in large manufacturing and entertainment companies, most recently NBC Universal. Here are her 10 tips for negotiating with those who make the final budget decisions.

CEOs want their HR leaders to break outside the operational box and become more strategic players. But many HR pros are so bogged down by daily process, they have trouble lifting their heads out of the weeds. Here's a self-assessment to help you gauge the strategic value you bring to your organization.

Q. Can I require an independent contractor to provide weekly sales reports (number of contacts made, closed sales, contracts sent, etc.) without turning our arrangement into an employer/employee relationship?

In light of the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, employers have begun re-examining the cases of some employees who were involuntarily discharged for misconduct. The purpose? To determine whether the employees are eligible to receive a 65% subsidy for continuation of health insurance benefits under COBRA.

Relatively few lawsuits—including discrimination and employment-related cases—are actually tried in a courtroom. In most cases, the parties reach a private settlement. But what happens if the parties reach a settlement and the employer holds up its end of the bargain, only to have the employee have second thoughts and bring another lawsuit?

Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard and her production is marginal. If we terminate the employee, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?

There’s a fine line between legitimate concerns that an employee is abusing the workers' compensation system and punishing the employee who has a legitimate claim. Here’s the best way to handle the problem.

Soon after Gary Lizalek was hired at a Wisconsin medical firm, he informed the company that he believed, as a matter of religious faith, that he was three separate beings. The company fired all three Lizaleks. He sued, saying the company failed to accommodate his religious beliefs.

How to reverse a bad situation? Practice three-way respect: 1) Respect yourself. 2) Respect your colleague. 3) Respect the problem. Jack and Mike had been college buddies, and now Jack had inherited his dad’s manufacturing business. Feeling that the business had languished, Jack had some new ideas...

Employers now have an answer to their single biggest and most vexing question about the elaborate new federal subsidy arrangement under COBRA, but it may not be the answer they were hoping for or expecting.

Millions of employees would be eligible for seven days of paid sick leave annually if the Healthy Families Act, recently introduced in Congress, becomes law. A coalition of HR and business groups vowed to fight the bill, saying it would “force companies to increase layoffs, reduce wages and cut important employee benefits.”

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