Compensation & Benefits

Annual Insurance Company Survey Reveals That the Recession Has Affected Benefits Objectives of Employers and Employees

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MetLife’s eighth-annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends suggests that the Recession had a significant effect on how employers and employees view workplace benefits. In most cases, employers were able to maintain core employee benefits, although there were some reductions; and employees strongly rely on those benefits to protect their families and stabilize their finances. What is clear from the Study is that employers and employees are taking the long view and each of their benefits objectives have shifted. Employers are now more focused on controlling the cost of benefits, instead...

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Federal and State Income Tax Authorities Scrutinize Employee vs. Independent Contractor Classifications

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According to press reports, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and some states are taking a proactive and less flexible approach to how employers are classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. This new scrutiny of possible worker misclassification is driven by the need to collect more revenues to address budget deficits. The IRS’s initiative is called the National Research Project (NRP) audit program. It will audit 2,000 randomly selected companies during each of the next three years, starting February 2010. Small and large companies, for-profit and non-profit...

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Employers Must Provide Nursing Mothers with Specific Considerations under Federal Health Care Reform Legislation

Posted by in Compensation & Benefits, Equal Employment Opportunity | Comments Off on Employers Must Provide Nursing Mothers with Specific Considerations under Federal Health Care Reform Legislation

Among the many provisions of the recently passed federal health care reform bill, nursing mothers who are employees are to be given “reasonable” break time and the privacy to express breast milk for their nursing children. That privacy must be other than a bathroom and for as much as a year following the children’s birth. This provision modifies the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including the previous rule that employees should be compensated for short rest breaks. Nursing mothers can be exempted from that compensation. In addition, employers with less than 50...

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Employers Are Responsible to Notify Employees of COBRA Subsidy Law Changes

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Employers must communicate with employees and recently terminated employees about the eligibility changes in the COBRA subsidy law, as mandated by the Temporary Extension Act of 2010. The subsidy law pays 65% of COBRA or state continuation health insurance premiums for employees who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2010. The Extension Act moved that end date to March 31, 2010; but the U.S. Congress may extend it to December 31, 2010, with new legislation. The subsidy also applies to employees whose hours were reduced between September 1, 2008 and March...

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Congressional Legislation Seeks to Restrict Executive Compensation at Certain Financial Institutions

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The Wall Street Compensation Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3149), introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), is meant to motivate “systemically significant” financial institutions to change their executive compensation policies. The incentive is their eligibility for tax deductions. The bill also attempts to protect the federal government, and ultimately taxpayers, from risky financial dealings by the largest financial corporations. “Systemically significant” financial institutions are defined in the bill as those primarily in the business of finance, with more than $25 billion...

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Insurance Company Survey States That a Growing Number of Employees Are Enrolling in Benefits Programs Online

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The move to a paperless society is gaining momentum, according to a study conducted by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The proportion of employees that enroll in their employers’ benefit programs online has leaped 165% during the past five years. The study also suggests that this is just one indication that Web-based technology in the workplace is quickly leading to even less use of paper and new operational efficiencies. A spokesperson for the study stated that benefits enrollment would probably become totally paperless within 10 or 20 years, which is much faster than...

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