Legal Requirements for Employee Benefits

1315 Words Apr 5th, 2012 6 Pages
Legal requirements for employee benefits

As we discussed earlier in this chapter, some benefits are required by law. This requirement adds to the cost of compensating employees. Organizations looking for ways to control staffing costs may look for ways to structure the workforce so as to minimize the expense of benefits. They may require overtime rather than adding new employee, hire part-time rather than full-time workers(because part-time employees generally receive much smaller benefits packages),and use independent contractors rather than hire employees. Some of these choices are limited by legal

requirements, however. For example ,the Fair Labor Standards Act requires overtime pay for nonexempt workers, as discussed in
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Age discrimination is also relevant to benefits policies. Two major issues have received attention under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and amendments. First, employers must take care not to discriminate against workers over age 40 in providing pay or benefits. For example, employers may not set an age at which retirement benefits stop growing as a way to pressure older workers to retire. Also, early retirement incentive programs need to meet certain standards. The programs may not coerce employees to retire, they must provide accurate information about the options available, and they must give employees enough time to make a decision. In effect, employees must really have a choice about whether they retire.

When employers offer early retirement, they often ask employees to sign waivers saying they will not pursue claims under the ADEA. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 set guidelines for using these waivers. The waivers must be voluntary and understandable to the employee and employer , and they must spell out the employee 's rights under the ADEA. Also , in exchange for signing the waiver, the employee must receive “compensation” that is , greater benefits than he or she would otherwise receive upon retirement. The employer inform employee that they may consult a lawyer before signing, and employee must have time to make a decision
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