See Appendix B for an example of an agreement issued to employees being laid off or terminated pursuant to a group exit incentive program.
The particular circumstances of each termination program determine whether the decisional unit is the entire company, a division, a department, employees reporting to a particular manager, or workers in a specific job classification.
The following proposal includes a job description and qualifications, training program, method for evaluating employee and team performance, challenges of a team performance evaluation, incentive and benefits package, strategies for managing employees careers development and a compensation plan.
As one might think, employee wellness programs are still top of mind for many employers. As companies continue to struggle with the rising costs in today’s health care market, they are constantly looking for that silver bullet to kill trends. The most current shows the national average cost increase at 5.6% (2015 data will soon be released). So what is the answer to these ever-increasing costs? Is there a silver bullet? While there may not be a silver bullet, there may be a silver lining if employers look inside their own benefits offerings.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an “” to assist employers in determining if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The DOL has determined that many employers are incorrectly classifying employees as independent contractors, which can harm the worker and open the employer up to various liabilities. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut checklist or rule in determining a worker’s status. Employers who are unsure about the categorization of workers should consult their legal counsel to review the factors provided by the DOL and its application to a specific situation or worker.
Employer-provided benefits are a large and growing share of compensation costs. In this paper, I consider three factors that can affect the value created by employer-sponsored benefits. First, firms have a comparative advantage (for example, due to scale economies or tax treatment) in purchasing relative to employees. This advantage can vary across firms based on size and other differences in cost structure. Second, employees differ in their valuations of benefits and it is costly for workers to match with firms that offer the benefits they value. Finally, some benefits can reduce the marginal cost to an employee of extra working time. I develop a simple model that integrates these factors. I then generate empirical implications of the model and use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to test these implications. I examine access to employer-provided meals, child-care, dental insurance, and health insurance. I also study how benefits are grouped together and differences between benefits packages at for-profit, not-for-profit, and government employers. The empirical analysis provides evidence consistent with all three factors in the model contributing to firms' decisions about which benefits to offer.
Employees comparison shop for other purchases, so why aren’t they curious about the price differences between plans and ways they could save money with the right choices? HR and benefits professionals have been looking for better ways to engage employees in the enrollment process for many years, especially as costs have escalated, and employers have had to scale back their share of costs.
It’s that time of the year – open enrollment season is here! Insurance carriers are presenting renewals and brokers are presenting ways to alleviate the cost pressure with innovative cost management strategies. HR and benefits professionals are under pressure to think out of the box and come up with new and improved benefit programs to engage employees. Benefits administration companies are busy getting staffed, trained and ready for long hours and last-minute client decisions. And employees are getting ready for the barrage of benefits-related communications that are coming their way.
Agreements that prevent employees from cooperating with the EEOC interfere with enforcement activities because they deprive the Commission of important testimony and evidence needed to determine whether discrimination has occurred. EEOC guidance also states that obtaining a promise from an employee not to file a charge or assist in Commission investigations constitutes unlawful retaliation in violation of federal employment rights statutes. See EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Non-Waivable Employee Rights Under EEOC Enforced Statutes (April 1997); see also 29 C.F.R. § 1625.22(i)(2).
Some employers want to offer other benefits through a cafeteria plan, but this is prohibited. Benefits that you cannot offer through a cafeteria plan include scholarships, group term life insurance for non-employees, transportation and other fringe benefits, long-term care, and health reimbursement arrangements (unless very specific rules are met by providing one in conjunction with a high deductible health plan). Benefits that defer compensation are also prohibited under cafeteria plan rules.
Cafeteria plans, or plans governed by IRS Code Section 125, allow employees to pay for expenses such as health insurance with pre-tax dollars. Employees are given a choice between a taxable benefit (cash) and specified pre-tax qualified benefits, for example, health insurance. Employees are given the opportunity to select the benefits they want, just like an individual standing in the cafeteria line at lunch.
In addition to waiver issues, workforce reductions or other substantial business changes often trigger additional legal obligations arising, for example, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), relevant benefit plans, and labor contracts.
State law typically governs questions regarding the proper construction of a severance agreement and the validity of waivers. For example, under the Minnesota Age Discrimination Act, a release must give the employee fifteen days after signing the agreement to change his mind and revoke his signature. Under California law, a waiver cannot release unknown claims unless the waiver agreement contains certain language specifically providing for such a waiver. Other states may impose additional requirements to obtain an effective waiver of certain state law claims. To determine whether a severance agreement is enforceable in the state in which you work, contact your state labor law department or consult with an attorney for legal advice.