Articles tagged 'Benefits'

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

U.S. Senate Once Again Rejects Paycheck Protection Act

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By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

As expected, U.S. Senate supporters of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the bill to a floor vote.

This bill would have, among other things:

  • Expanded damages available under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) to include potentially unlimited compensatory and punitive awards for wage discrimination; Read more…
Compensation, HR Basics

A New Fad: States, Local Governments Hiking the Minimum Wage

Managers and HR professionals will have to deal with very modest pay increases in 2011. (Photo illustration by Dreamstime).

By Gregory Hanscom

A centerpiece of President Obama’s current legislative agenda is raising the federal minimum wage.

While many doubt a bill raising the federal minimum wage will be passed by Congress, President Obama’s call for such legislation has spurred many states and municipalities to act.

In Pennsylvania, two state senators, Daylin Leach and Mike Stack, just introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $12.00 and prohibit businesses from paying workers who receive tips an amount less than the state mandated minimum wage. Read more…

Benefits, Compensation

When It Comes to Pay, Everything in Moderation – Including Moderation

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Compensation professionals do a lot of moderating.

We work to moderate expectations. We work to moderate misunderstandings with incentive pay. And increasingly, we seem to be working to moderate pay itself.

Someone once told me that when animals are in a big herd, only those at the edges have a decent view of what’s really going on. Those in the middle just have to trust that everyone around them is moving at the right pace and in the right direction. Read more…

Benefits, Compensation

Spreading the Peanut Butter: Across-the-Board Pay Hikes Are a Bad Idea

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“Spreading the peanut butter” is a term used by one of my international clients to describe a general increase, the granting of an across-the-board pay rise or one-size-fits-all lump sum payment.

The simple visual of spreading a thin layer to coat a surface caught my eye as well as my ear, as I often make peanut butter sandwiches for my granddaughters – and now I stop and think whenever I’m doing it.

The concept is simple, all too simple, and therein lays the danger. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

BLS Minimum Wage Report: Is There Anything Worthwhile In it?


By John E. Thompson

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report entitled Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013 which claims that approximately 1.8 million hourly-paid workers made less than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s $7.25-per-hour minimum wage last year.

It also asserts that another 1.5 million hourly-paid workers earned exactly this minimum rate.

These statements are already being touted as additional support for increasing the FLSA minimum wage. On the contrary, even a cursory look at the methodology gives rise to serious doubt that the report has almost anything worthwhile to say in this regard. Read more…

Benefits, HR Management

How to Finally Fix the Flawed Corporate Wellness Model

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Today’s model for workplace wellness is to offer a program of dazzling options, but studies show such programs are not producing the outcomes they promised and that employees and companies deserve.

Here are four major changes for employers who want to improve their employees’ health and wellness and realize a return on their investment in wellness programs.

1. Get real about outcomes

A recently published study by The RAND Corporation revealed that wellness programs are not getting the intended results. One reason programs were failing was that fewer than 37 percent of U.S. employers even measure the effectiveness of their wellness programs. Read more…

Benefits, Compensation

Remember Your Pay Structure? It’s Likely You’re Not Doing Enough

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You’ve seen your company’s want ads and heard the pitch from your recruiters; you offer competitive pay to qualified candidates.

That’s got to be a strong hook for attracting talent, right?

Big deal.

Your pay structures are updated based on market trends, so the pay opportunities offered to employees support your retention and motivation strategies, right?

Not enough. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Curtailing “White Collar” Overtime Exemptions Will Take a Lot of Work


By John E. Thompson

President Obama has instructed the U.S. Department of Labor to revise the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s so-called “white collar” exemptions in a “Presidential Memorandum” released on March 13.

This effort is intended (as The New York Times put it apparently in light of a White House briefing) to “force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers …”

Since the FLSA’s 1938 enactment, its Section 13(a)(1) has exempted executive, administrative, professional, and outside-sales employees from its minimum-wage and overtime requirements. The FLSA specifically tasks the U.S. Secretary of Labor (not the President) with “defin[ing] and delimit[ing]” these exemptions. The current regulations were last revised in 2004. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Obama’s Overtime Proposal: Don’t Expect Any Swift Change


Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap is taking the week off. It will return next Friday. 

By Eric B. Meyer

So, by now you’ve likely read the news, first reported by New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Steven Greenhouse that Obama Will Seek Broad Expansion of Overtime Pay.

The Times reporters indicated that, yesterday, President Barack Obama was to the direct the U.S. Department of Labor to “revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as ‘executive or professional’ employees to avoid paying them overtime.” Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

President Obama Proposing Big Expansion of Overtime Rules

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In what could be BIG news for employers, President Obama is directing the U.S. Department of Labor to issue proposed regulations that would expand the number of employees who are eligible for overtime.

The regulations would raise the minimum salary an employee must receive to fall under the white collar exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Right now, the salary threshold is $455 per week (roughly $24,000 a year). While it’s not clear what the new threshold would be, some speculate that it could more than double.

One recent proposal would raise the limit to $984 per week (about $50,000 a year). Under that scenario, experts estimate that more than 5 million employees would be entitled to overtime who currently are not. Read more…