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Compensation & Benefits

Consider leasing staff; PEO market is evolving

Look into turning your back-office duties over to a professional employer organization (PEO). New trends and fresh players have heightened competition among PEOs, which serve as a “co-employer” and handle recruiting, …

Mental health benefits: Know federal, state parity laws

When Congress reconvenes, one of the hottest issues will be whether to add new teeth to a five-year-old federal mental-health parity law. Under the law, companies offering mental health coverage …

Timecard Adjustments OK


Q. Our employees punch a time clock and then go to job sites. Sometimes they don’t take a lunch break. But when they do, they’re unable to clock out and back in, so there’s no time record. Can a manager adjust the timecard by marking through the daily total and deducting the lunch time? –A.P., Virginia

Worker who can’t perform her job isn’t entitled to intermittent leave

While Minnie Hatchett was on a business trip, a hotel skylight crashed down on her head. As a result of her injuries, she could perform routine work, such as answering phones …

Employees in ‘unique’ jobs can use broad comparisons to show pay bias

Nancy Kroh successfully sued for gender discrimination, claiming her male colleagues were treated more favorably. But on appeal, the court tossed the award out. The com-pany convinced the appeals court that …

Disabled worker isn’t entitled to work-at-home accommodation

Lynn Heaser blamed the air quality in her office at Toro for her health problems, which were diagnosed as everything from allergies to chemical sensitivities. She asked to work from …

Partial-week suspensions can strip workers’ exempt status

Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power occasionally suspended salaried employees without pay, and now it may have to pony up overtime for groups of employees. The …

Push for contraceptive coverage gets shove from federal court

If you’re not already covering prescription contraceptives with your health plan, there’s new pressure to do so. For the first time, a federal court has ruled that excluding …

Rx for drug testing: A firm policy, legal knowledge

If you’re not testing employees for drugs yet, some of your best excuses are going up in smoke. New testing devices are cheaper and less invasive than urine tests. Example: Products …

FLSA Limits Work Done by Volunteers, Unpaid Interns


Q. I run a small advertising office. A college student has asked to join our staff for the summer. She proposed to work every day for a couple months at no cost. It would be great to get some free help. Is there anything wrong with hiring her? —G.I., Maryland