Compensation and Benefit Issues Thesis

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Compensations and Benefits Issues


Issues in Compensations and Benefits

Rising Trends in Recent Years

A 2004 study conducted by the National Academy of Social Insurance found that employers' cost for workers' compensation had increased more rapidly than payments for benefits and medical care (Fogg 2006). This was impelled by the increase in premiums by insurers for future benefit costs. Cash benefits for injuries and medical conditions also went up by 2.3% to $56 billion and employers' costs, by 7% to $87.4 billion. This was the trend in the first three years in the current decade, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. Chairman of the panel, which produced the report, John E. Burton, said that increasing employer costs were due to rising premiums paid to cover future benefit costs. He predicted a cycle of ups and downs to occur in the market. He explained that employer costs went down in the 1990s when favorable investment returns motivated insurance companies to cut premiums so they could expand market shares. But after 2000, low interest rates and low stock market returns impelled them to raise premiums in order to cover future benefit costs, he explained (Fogg).

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Thesis on Compensation and Benefit Issues Assignment

There are hard realities one must contend with as regards compensation. Salaries and benefits are largely dependent on supply and demand (Auld 2002). Higher education is preferable. It is easier to hire one with a master's degree than if he had only a bachelor's degree or a high school diploma. Compensation tends to be higher in fields, which compete with the private sector for employees. Salaries tend to go higher in departments, which incur problems in recruiting applicants or where job offers are repeatedly unfilled. This is also slightly the trend in departments where turnover is low. Market studies may raise salaries if they reveal that comparable organizations or businesses provide higher compensations. Compensation is affected by local conditions. The tax base of a locality is stronger if it relies heavily on commercial and industrial property taxes. Timing is also a critical factor in seeking out higher salaries. It should be attempted when the economy goes on a rebound and higher salaries will be among many pressures for additional funding (Auld).

Sex and Race Inequities

A study, which used data from the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Program, showed sex, race and social inequities in the grant of social insurance benefits (Latimer 2003). Those who lived outside the metropolitan area were less likely to qualify for unemployment insurance or UI than those living within the area.. Most non-metro jobs included service, non-durable manufacturing sectors, agricultural and resource extraction industries, which were low-waged and offered less job security. Unpaid, seasonal and part-time jobs, which were not covered by UI or did not qualify, were subjected to the inequities. Those who earned less than average wages tended to be disqualified. Unemployed workers in areas devoted largely to farming also suffered from the drawbacks or consequences of a separation or non-separation issue. These rural workers were dismissed from their jobs for some misconduct, refused to go by the criteria or quit on their own on account of their limited job opportunities (Latimer).

The findings of the study are disturbing in this era of global competition and the institutionalization of occupational and income inequities (Schram 1995 as qtd in Latimer 2003). Economic restructuring and welfare reform drove these inequities even more deeply into the UI and created more problems as a result. From its original form in 1930, the UI has remained unchanged (O'Leary 2000 as qtd in Latimer). It has failed to adjust to the demands for change in the nation's economy and the workforce. Those denied UI benefits took recourse in other but questionable or unreliable sources of social assistance benefits. These included food stamps and Medicaid. These alternative programs were reduced in size and restructured, making them even more limited as substitutes for the UI program (Latimer).

A lifetime cap on benefits and rigid work requirements were thought to help increase labor force participation and establish stronger link between social assistance and social insurance programs (Lare 1999 as qtd in Latimer 2003). But studies found that only approximately 13% of the unemployed who received welfare assistance qualified for UI benefits. Former recipients could not meet the monetary requirement because they simply did not earn enough to qualify. Eligibility criteria discriminated against lower-wage workers whose special needs were un-addressed by the UI program. Another issue confronted many recent welfare recipients, who often had young children and sought part-time work. They were often disqualified from UI benefits. The "able to work" qualification was particularly difficult for the disabled or those living with them to meet. And one more barrier or issue was that many recipients did not even know how the UI system worked or how to apply for UI benefits (Latimer).

Until the current UI program is modified to adopt to the authentic needs of part-time, contingent and self-employed workers in current-day society, the inequities of sex, race and place will continue to afflict the unemployment insurance system (Latimer).

Illegal Employment

A misrepresentation in the employment applicant would not invalidate the employment contract when considering payment for the worker's compensation claim (Decarlo 2001). Another factor pertained to the performance of an illegal act. An illegal act could be hiring during prohibition or employment in an illegal business, such as prostitution, drug trafficking, gambling or any other in violation of law.. Illegal aliens in the United States once posed a problem as most areas allowed them to file for compensation benefits. In a recent court case in Pennsylvania, the employer appealed that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibited the employment of illegal immigrants in the U.S. He argued that the law compelled the courts to recognize illegal aliens as non-employees under the workers' compensation law. The court ruled that the legislation mentioned prohibited employers from hiring illegal aliens and required employers to provide evidence that the applicants could legally seek employment. But it did not specifically address the matter of benefits or preclude illegal aliens from being considered employees for the purpose of seeking benefits under the workers' compensation law. As a result, the court affirmed the award of benefits (DeCarlo).

Another trouble spot as regards illegal employment had to do with minors (DeCarlo 2001). While modern American jurisprudence sought to protect under-aged employees from abuse and the risks of the workplace, they have been allowed employment for their positive developmental and educational contribution to work. The availability of compensation for injuries depended on the legality of the minor person's employment. Worker's compensation has been held by some courts as the exclusive remedy applicable to the minor even in the event of a violation of another law with its own remedy for violation. Some States provide for double compensation benefits in cases like this. Other States pay increased benefits. However, the standard workers' compensation and employers' liability policy expressly excludes liability insurance for injuries in employments, which violate the law or when performed with the employer's or the executive officers' actual knowledge (DeCarlo).

Intermediate Sanctions on Healthcare

While senior officers of non-profit healthcare organizations should be well-compensated for their services, they may also be penalized by the Internal Revenue Service for getting overcompensated (Samuels and Shoretz 2002). By applying "intermediate sanctions," the IRS could impose huge excise tax on these executives. The tax could amount to tens of thousands of dollars if the violation persisted for many years the intermediate sanction law armed the IRS with the authority to deal with excess-benefit transactions entered into by healthcare and similar organizations. These organizations have been tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. It authorizes the imposition of excise taxes on organization managers, senior officers and key employees who received excess benefits. It is limited to persons earning more than $85,000 per year. This legislation came into force on September 14, 1005. State hospitals and other government bodies are exempted (Samuels and Shoretz).

Excise taxes came in two forms. The first consists of 25% of the excess benefit for each transaction (Samuels and Shoretz 2002). If the excess benefit is not corrected within the given taxable period, a second or additional excise tax of 200% of the excess benefit may be imposed by the IRS. The person must pay both taxes. The amount is the difference between the actual benefit received and that, which the IES determines as reasonable. If the IRS decides that the person receives $100,000 and he actually earns $225, he must pay the difference of $125,000.00. If the situation has persisted for many years, the total excess benefit can be much more. The criteria for determining a reasonable excise tax amount are background, experience, qualifications and special characteristics of the officer or executive. A medical director of a healthcare organization, for example, is a trained physician who is entitled to bigger pay because of his or her special training and experience. The IRS is also… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Compensation and Benefit Issues" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Compensation and Benefit Issues.  (2008, September 30).  Retrieved June 1, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Compensation and Benefit Issues."  30 September 2008.  Web.  1 June 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Compensation and Benefit Issues."  September 30, 2008.  Accessed June 1, 2020.