Tag: benefits

Terminating And Disciplining Employees: Employer To Pay Four Years’ Back Wages For Firing One-Man Striker; Important Tips For Avoiding Labor Law Problems

If an employee makes unjustified complaints about wages and hours, you may be tempted to brand the person as a troublemaker. You might even take disciplinary action if the griping continues. But a new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling cautions that even a one-employee protest can be a protected activity under federal labor law-landing […]

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Hiring Temps And Independent Contractors: Employers Brace For Fallout From New Microsoft Ruling; How To Avoid Owing Benefits

The federal appeals court covering California ruled several years ago that software giant Microsoft Corp. had to pay certain retroactive employee benefits to workers improperly classified as independent contractors. Now, the same court has made clear that its earlier ruling will require Microsoft to provide millions of dollars in stock-purchase rights not only to contractors, […]

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News Notes: Pension Reform May Be Coming; IRA Payroll Deductions Urged

Several bills pending in Congress could impact your pension plans. HR 1102 would increase the amount workers can contribute to 401(k) accounts and require faster vesting of matching employer contributions. It would also introduce new Roth 401(k)s and 403(b)s, allowing employees to contribute after-tax dollars but receive tax-free retirement benefits. Another measure, S 659, would […]

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Military Leave: New Ruling Addresses Rights Of Employees Who Serve—Do You Know Your Obligations?

As thousands of reservists are being called to military action in the Balkans and taking leave from their jobs, it’s a good time to brush up on the intricacies of the federal law that protects the rights of workers who serve in the armed forces. And a new federal court decision upholds the special benefits […]

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News Notes: Employee Benefits Data Now Available

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released a new survey showing the latest trends in employee benefits. The study describes what medium and large private employers offer in terms of paid leave, health and retirement benefits, and life insurance, and it provides a useful benchmarkfor comparing your own employee benefit plans. When it […]

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Pension Plans: Supreme Court Restores Employer Discretion Over Surplus Assets

Because of the huge stock market gains in recent years, many defined benefit pension plans contain more assets than are needed to pay out benefits. Since 1997, however, a ruling from the federal appeals court that covers California has sharply limited employers’ discretion in how to use that “extra” money. But in a recent unanimous […]

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Salary Surveys: New Wage and Occupation Guides For California Employers Now Available

When hiring a new employee, promoting an existing worker or reviewing compensation packages, it always helps to know what your competitors are paying. You don’t want to shell out too much or discourage the best talent by paying too little. California employers have just gotten some new tools to assist them. The California Employment Development […]

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Health Benefits: New COBRA Rules Announced

After a 13-year wait, the Internal Revenue Service has just released its comprehensive regulations covering COBRA health benefits continuation coverage. The new regulations-which are a complex mix of final and so-called proposed rules-clarify several gray areas of the law but don’t change the basic COBRA mandates, including the detailed notice requirements. Even though the rules […]

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News Notes: Year-Round Alternative Work Not Required For Injured Seasonal Employees

Seasonal workers who are hurt on the job are not entitled to 12 months of continuous modified or alternative work as a replacement for vocational rehabilitation benefits, a California Court of Appeal has ruled. The case involved Jennifer Henry, a ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. After she injured her back, Henry requested vocational […]

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News Notes: New Health Plan Notice Rules In Effect

Following on the heels of new benefit and notice requirements for health plans offering maternity coverage, a new federal law mandates that any plans that cover mastectomies must also cover breast reconstruction and prostheses. Employees have to be notified about these benefits at the beginning of this year. Check with your health benefits provider for […]

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