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Posts for Compensation

Year-End Personnel Topics Pop Quiz

Year-End Personnel Topics Pop Quiz

January 9, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , Termination , Leave Policies , Minimum Wage

Take a short quiz to test your memory of some common, personnel-related legal issues as well as new employment laws that came in to or remained in effect in 2017.

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Employee Recognition Programs

Employee Recognition Programs

October 26, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Compensation

Acknowledging a job well done can be a powerful motivator for your employees. However, local governments must consider constitutional prohibitions against gifts. Consultant Lynn Nordby explores this restriction and offers some guidance on creating employee recognition programs that won't run afoul of the law. 

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What if We Accidentally Overpaid an Employee?

What if We Accidentally Overpaid an Employee?

January 28, 2015 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation

Consider this hypothetical scenario: when I was just starting out as a city employee, I was joined in my office by the city accountant. She informed me that I had been overpaid. (What?! How can that be? If anything, I must have been underpaid!) Sadly, it was true. Due to a mathematical error, my paycheck for the first three months of the year was for an amount greater than it should have been. My first thought likely was “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” Unfortunately for me, that wasn’t the accountant’s first thought; I was expected to repay the amount I was overpaid. Here's why that's the case and how the overpayment should be repaid.

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New for Q3 and Q4: Withholding Tax Changes for Benefits Paid to Same-Sex Couples

October 1, 2013 by HR Advisor
Category: Compensation , HR Advisor

Employers will need to use special care in handling their federal employment tax duties for Q3 and Q4 of this year. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor decision, which struck down federal restrictions on same-sex marriage, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued recent guidance that clarifies how employers should address their Q3 and Q4 tax reporting. In particular, the...

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Meal and Rest Breaks for Public Employees

March 1, 2013 by Sofia D'Almeida Mabee
Category: Compensation , HR Advisor

There continues to be much confusion regarding meal and rest period obligations for public sector employees. Public employers in Washington State are required to provide meal and rest breaks for non-exempt employees (i.e., overtime-eligible employees.) However, unlike the situation for private employers, public employers can also have agreements with unions...

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How Is Employee Travel Time Treated Under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

February 19, 2013 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation

When an employee travels to work in the morning and then travels home at the end of the work day, that travel time is not “work time.” But what if the employee, at home after work, is then called back to work? Or if the employee must travel to another city for training? Does it matter if the employee drives his or her own car to an out-of-town assignment? Or if he or she travels as a passenger...

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Employment Law Alert: Washington High Court Issues Important Decision on Rest Breaks and Overtime Pay

January 31, 2013 by Joe Levan
Category: Compensation

Does this decision apply to local governments in Washington?
In short, yes. The Washington Supreme Court’s October 2012 decision in Wash. State Nurses Ass'n v. Sacred Heart Med. Ctr., 175 Wn.2d 822 (2012), is particularly noteworthy for local government employers (and other employers) and their non-exempt employees.
Generally speaking, a non-exempt employee under the Fair...

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Still Out to Lunch? Brush Up on State Rules Regarding Rest and Meal Breaks.

August 22, 2012
Category: Compensation

MRSC consultants are frequently asked to provide information on the legal requirements regarding work breaks. Here are some common questions and answers:
Where in state law are the rules relating to lunch or meal periods and rest breaks?
Meal and rest break requirements are set out in chapter 49.12 RCW and WAC 296-126-092. Under these rules,
  • Employees must be...

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