It is common knowledge that employees are typically compensated through a combination of both wages and benefits. While wages are the standard form of compensation, many employers choose to offer their workers benefits in order to attract the cream of the crop in terms of talent and keep their employees happy and satisfied. But what is not so commonly recognized are the legal regulations that surround the distribution of employee compensation, including laws about minimum wage and overtime pay, as well as those regarding anti-discrimination policies when it comes to health insurance coverage. Here are answers to the wages and benefits questions you may have been wondering about.
1. Question: What do I need to know about complying with legal regulations in terms of employee wages?
There are numerous laws that deal with the restrictions and mandates surrounding employee wages, many of which concern the paying of minimum wage, which is regulated by your state, and compensating youth workers the appropriate amount. If your company hires interns, there are strict laws that concern who can be an unpaid intern and who must be a paid intern. Someone who helps with the company’s work product, for example, must be a paid intern. Employers must pay appropriately for any overtime work and give their employees fair meal times and breaks. Additionally, employers may not deduct pay for any wages compensated in goods.
2. Question: Are there are restrictions regarding tips for employees?
Yes, and employers that are found to be non-compliant with any of these wage-related restrictions may incur fines and other consequences. Employers who are found to be deducting too much from their employee’s pay for tips are in violation of the law. Also, those who take tips from their employees are in non-compliance. These regulations are meant to protect employees and ensure that they are getting compensated fairly and accurately for their work.
3. Question: What are some common employee benefits and regulations concerning these?
Benefits are generally broken down into health benefits, such as medical insurance coverage, sick days, and paid vacation times, which will likely progress over time as an employee works consistently for a number of years. In certain situations, such as medical leave or family emergencies, employees have the legal right to take off for a number of days, but whether or not this period is paid is up to the particular company.
In general, the better benefits a business offers, the better quality job candidates they are going to get. But there are many restrictions regarding any benefits, especially medical, that are implemented, though it is not typically required that an employer provide their employees with health insurance coverage. Employee health insurance plans are regulated largely by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which mandates that employees receive regular and unrestricted access to comprehensive information about their health coverage and benefits. Additionally, employers are banned from discriminating via their benefits against any of their employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
4. Question: Is an employee still eligible for benefits if they are fired or let go?
Under the regulations of the Consolidate Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, employees who were laid off or even fired are generally still eligible to stay on the employer-provided health care plan for up to 18 months, at which point they must cancel or switch to another plan. However, the employer will no longer be responsible for subsidizing the health care plan, in this case. An employee may also be eligible to receive their retirement benefits even after being fired or let go, depending on the nature of their retirement plan and how long they were working for the company.
By making sure you understand your local and state laws and all federal laws regarding wages and benefits, you can be sure you’re in compliance and providing your employees with the right care.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.