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Payroll

Congress clarifies: Stock options are benefits, not pay

07/01/2000
If you give stock options to nonexempt workers, don’t worry that the additional compensation will drive up their overtime pay. President Clinton has signed legislation …

Limits on payroll deductions

07/01/2000

Q. An employee has not returned our calls or come to work at our hotel for over a week. She has a set of office keys and owes money for laundry. Can I hold her check until she returns the keys or pays for her laundry? Alternatively, can I deduct the cost of replacing the keys and laundry from her last paycheck? —I.C., Maryland

Recover training costs

07/01/2000

Q. Can we require an employee to sign an agreement to reimburse the company for half the expenses related to training, if the employee resigns within six months? —S.D., Northern Marianas

Don’t try docking pay for smoking breaks.

06/01/2000
An employer who allowed his workers to take a series of short smoking breaks had to compensate them for the time. Reason: Such approved short breaks (20 minutes or less) are …

Fix classification errors promptly or ‘window of correction’ will close

06/01/2000
A group of managers and registered nurses who worked for Santa Clara County, Calif., were classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), making …

If your employees earn tips, beware new audits this fall

06/01/2000
Count on the IRS to resume a controversial audit program aimed at businesses that flagrantly violate tip-reporting rules. It is set to restart on Oct. 1. In addition …

Pay workers for travel time when you control their travel

05/01/2000
Royal Packing Co. required its agricultural employees to travel to and from the fields each day on company-provided buses. Employees met each morning …

Independent contractor label is no protection from overtime

05/01/2000
In 1991, Perdue Farms Inc. changed the status of the chicken catchers at its poultry plants from employees to independent contractors, which made them ineligible …

Businesses in other states fear spread of California overtime law

04/01/2000
California employers are fretting about a renewed state law that will raise their overtime costs. It requires time-and-a-half pay for work beyond eight hours …

Not everyone counts for COBRA threshold

04/01/2000

Q. This year our company may exceed 20 employees for the first time. Is it true that employers of 20 or more employees have to offer COBRA? Do part-time employees and independent contractors count toward that total? —M.K., Minnesota