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Compensation & Benefits

Don’t sugarcoat benefit changes

Many companies are cutting costs by changing their employee benefits programs. But don’t shoot from the hip when explaining these changes to employees, …

Indefinite leave of absence isn’t a reasonable accommodation

Providing a leave of absence is one way to “reasonably accommodate” disabled employees. But the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t require you to wait …

Who’s an ‘outside sales rep’? Confusion causes $17 million error

Make sure you’re not shoehorning delivery workers into an “outside sales rep” category to avoid paying them overtime. To be considered exempt under the …

Outsourcing workers won’t let you escape wage-and-hour laws

When it comes to basic compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), simply calling your hourly workers “outsourced employees” won’t let you off the hook …

Do you approve dubious FMLA leave? You’re not alone

Half of the human resource professionals polled recently say they’ve approved Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests that they believed were not legitimate. They felt obligated to grant the leave …

FLSA overhaul: What new overtime changes mean to you

Your company could be forced to shell out more overtime pay to lower-paid workers under a long-awaited Labor Department modernization of the …

Post Vacation Schedules in Employee-Only Areas


Q. We post employees’ vacation schedules in the employee lunchroom. Occasionally, outside visitors or customers visit the lunchroom, too. Some employees have complained about this posting policy, saying it borders on invasion of privacy. Are they right and should we stop doing this from a legal standpoint? —M.M., New Jersey

Don’t cut severance if it violates written contract


Q. We need to change our severance policy, mostly due to declining business conditions. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change? —J.C., Illinois

Most Nonprofits Aren’t Exempt From COBRA


Q. We’re a nonprofit, and we offer health insurance to our employees. If an employee is enrolled in the health plan and voluntarily quits, are we required to offer COBRA? Or does our nonprofit status let us off the hook? —A.B., Tennessee

Hiring new college grads? Keep your salary offers in check

You won’t face a bidding war with competitors over new college graduates. Reason: Starting pay for most new grads is lower than it was just one year ago, most notably in …