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Incentive Pay

Hourly bonuses for salaried employees?


Q. I employ a physical therapist on a salaried basis, making her an exempt professional under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Can I pay her an hourly bonus without causing her to lose the exempt status? …

Arbitration covers claims for unpaid bonus and severance


The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that binding arbitration mandated by an arbitration agreement could determine a former employee’s wage claims for an unpaid profit-sharing bonus and severance pay …

‘Spiffs’ don’t count when establishing overtime exemption


If you have an incentive system in which employees who sell a particular item get an additional set payment—commonly called a “spiff”—on top of other payments for selling the item, you can’t count the spiff as part of the commission …

Incentive pay hours don’t count toward the 1,250 hours required for FMLA leave


Q. We are a hospital and we give employee “bonus” hours if they agree to work weekends and at other times that are difficult to staff. An employee has requested FMLA leave to care for a family member. Our employee has actually worked less than the FMLA-required 1,250 hours in the year, but because of the bonus hours, she has been paid as if she worked more than 1,250 hours. Does she qualify? …

Largest insurer ties staff bonuses to customers’ health


WellPoint, the largest U.S. health insurer (based on commercial membership), has tied part of its 42,000 employees’ annual bonuses to the health of its 34 million members …

Design bonus payments to reduce your overtime risks


If your organization pays discretionary bonuses, it may be paying out more overtime than necessary. But you can design a bonus plan that doesn’t increase your company’s overtime liability

The court affirms: Your employee has the right to an attorney


An Ohio appeals court significantly expanded employees’ rights recently when it upheld a fired employee’s right to trial after her employer terminated her because she threatened to talk to her attorney …

Teacher bonuses linked to higher student performance


Administrators in Arkansas’ Little Rock School District wanted to link financial awards for teachers to academic improvement in their students. The teachers agreed to the program without knowing what the payoff would be …

Morgan Stanley wins in whistle-Blower firing case


Morgan Stanley won the latest round in its high-profile battle with IT employee Arthur Riel, who was fired for sharing e-mails that revealed questionable management practices at the firm …

Include disclaimer in incentive plans that clarifies when no contract exists


Incentive plans are wonderful motivational tools, but make sure yours doesn’t create an enforceable contract. That mistake may force you to pay bonuses to employees who’ve left or cause lawsuits over the payment amount …