COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

New COBRA notices further explain individual exchanges

07/30/2014
You can finally make the Affordable Care Act work for you. Newly proposed COBRA regulations update the model COBRA notices to expand the discussion of the individual Health Insurance Marketplace exchanges, through which COBRA-eligible employees may, instead, buy individual policies.

Which has greater value to employees: Retirement or health benefits?

07/30/2014

Employees are more satisfied with their company-sponsored retirement benefits than they were five years ago, but satisfaction with health care benefits (especially the cost), has declined, according to a new survey by the Towers Watson consulting firm. How big is the satisfaction split?

Flexible schedules bill runs into inflexible congressional calendar

07/30/2014
Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced the Schedules that Work Act, which would give nonexempt employees the right to request flexible work schedules without fear of retaliation.

Take it or leave it? What affects retirement rollovers?

07/29/2014
It’s a question that interests policymakers and employers alike: When workers leave or change jobs, what do they do with their employment-based retirement savings—and why?

Use tuition benefits to build home-grown skills

07/28/2014

Starbucks got a lot of attention this summer when it announced it would help its baristas—even part-timers—pay for online college classes offered by Arizona State University. That’s news for three reasons.

2015 inflation adjustments for health plans released

07/25/2014
The IRS has announced the 2015 inflation-adjusted figures for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).

Marketing firm creates casual culture for staff

07/25/2014
To encourage a “lively spirit” among employees, managers at online marketing firm iProspect offer flexibility when it comes to training, schedules and dress code.

Can sick leave hours count toward overtime?

07/25/2014
Q. Last week, one of our hourly employees was out sick on Monday, but she worked a total of 40 hours from Tuesday through Friday. She would like to use her sick leave from Monday and claim overtime for those Monday sick-day hours. Must I pay her overtime for her Monday hours?

SSA retires its letter forwarding program

07/24/2014

The SSA retired its letter forwarding program for good on May 19, 2014. The IRS retired its routine letter forwarding program in 2012. The end of these two programs may put you in a bind if you need to contact former employees about final checks or 401(k) plan distributions and you don’t have their current addresses.

Must we grant time off so employees can vote?

07/23/2014
Q. A number of my employees have stated that they will not be able to vote in the upcoming statewide election because their local polling centers are only open during these employees’ work hours. Should I give them some time off during the day to vote?

California Supreme Court: Undocumented status doesn't bar back pay

07/23/2014
The California Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration law does not preempt a California law that extends state law protections to all workers regardless of their immigration status. However, the court held that federal law does preempt state law on the issue of liability for lost wages for any period after an employer discovers that an employee is not authorized to work in the United States.

Single act of disobedience doesn't always rule out unemployment compensation

07/23/2014
The California Supreme Court has decided that a single act of employee disobedience may not always constitute misconduct within the meaning of section 1256 of Cali­­for­­nia’s Unemployment Insur­­ance Code.

Two IRS rulings shed light on health FSAs and HSAs

07/23/2014
Health flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts, which complement employees’ major medical coverage, are key elements of many cafeteria plans. In two legal memoranda, the IRS details how corrections to FSA reimbursements should be made and how the new FSA rollover rule impacts employees’ eligibility for HSAs.

Senate bill would create tax credit to encourage paid family leave

07/22/2014
A Republican and an Independent have introduced a Senate bill that would provide tax incentives for employers to offer paid parental and medical leave benefits for employees.

APA Congress: Big changes ahead for 2014 W-2s

07/21/2014
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Mark Ruley, speaking at the American Payroll Association’s 32nd Annual Congress in May, highlighted imminent changes at the SSA that will affect your 2014 wage reporting.
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