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Benefits Questions and Answers

Before you leave your job or start a new position, it's important to make sure that your questions about salary and benefits have answers.

Am I an Employee or Independent Contractor?
It's important to know what your rights are if a company offers you a position as an independent contractor rather than hiring you as an employee.

Am I Entitled to Holidays Off or Holiday Pay?
The Federal Government provides employees with ten paid holidays each year. Private sector employees may provide holidays off or holiday pay for working on a holiday.

Am I Entitled to Severance Pay?
Severance pay may be given to employees upon termination of employment. However, companies are not required to provide severance pay.

Am I Entitled to Vacation Leave?
Federal law does not provide for vacation pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick time, or holidays.

Can I File for Unemployment in Spanish?
Some state unemployment offices provide an option for unemployed workers to apply for unemployment in Spanish as well as in English. Spanish speaking workers may be able to apply for unemployment benefits in Spanish online, via the telephone, by mail or fax, and in some locations in-person.

Do I Have to Work Overtime?
Information on when an employer can require you to work mandatory overtime and how much you are entitled to be paid for the overtime hours you work.

Do I Qualify for Unemployment When Collecting Social Security?
Full unemployment insurance benefits are available for workers who are collecting social security except in two states where the amount of unemployment compensation is offset by some of the amount of social security benefits that are received.

Do I Qualify for Unemployment?
Unemployment insurance benefits are available for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

How Do I File for Unemployment?
If you have been laid off from your job you may be able to file for unemployment online without visiting an unemployment office.

How Do I Get Copies of My W-2 Forms?
If you don't have copies of your past W-2 forms you can ask your employer(s) for a copy or order copies of your past tax returns from the IRS.

How is Overtime Pay Calculated?
All non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours during work week must be paid at a rate of one and one-half the employee's regular hourly rate.

How Much is Minimum Wage?
Minimum Wage - The current minimum wage, which employers are required to pay a minimum wage, and the federal and minimum wage for each state.

How Much Maternity Leave Do I Get?
Family leave, which includes maternity leave, paternity leave, and adoption leave, provides for paid or unpaid time off from work after the birth or adoption of a child.

How Much Notice Must an Employer Give Before a Lay-Off?
Employers are not required to provide notice when terminating an at-will employee. Employees do have rights when their job is terminated, including contract rights, company policy, and statutory rights provided by federal and state law.

How Much Sick Leave Do I Get?
Federal law does not provide for paid sick leave other than the FMLA. State law may vary and companies may have a company policy providing paid time off when you, or a family member, are sick.

Unemployment Claims Question/Answers
Do you have a problem with your unemployment claim? Do you have difficult navigating the unemployment system to get answers? Here are frequently asked questions and answers on unemployment claim issues from career and employment experts that will help you collect unemployment benefits and handle glitches in the process.

What Rights Do I Have When I'm Terminated?
It's important to know what your rights as an employee are when you lose your job.

What Benefits Do I Get When I Leave My Job?
You are entitled to receive some benefits by law. Your employer may opt to provide additional benefits other than those mandated by state or federal law.

What Do Employers Ask During a Background Check?
One of the questions I get asked quite often is what type of information will employers ask when they verify my previous employment or check my references.

What Happens To the Benefits Provided by my Employer If I Leave My Job?
What happens to the benefits provided by my current employer if I leave my job? That's a good question and one a lot of visitors to my About.com site ask. In fact, it's a question everyone should be able to answer before they resign from a job. It's also important to know if you've been terminated from employment.

What is Minimum Wage?
What is minimum wage? Here's information on how much the current minimum wage is, when employers don't have to pay minimum wage, and federal and state minimum wage rates.

When Am I Due Overtime Pay?
Overtime pay is based on the hours you work each week and your weekly earnings.

When Should I Tell My Employer I'm Pregnant?
If you have a baby on the way, you'll need to know about interviewing while pregnant, when to tell your employer you're pregnant, pregnancy and disability law, and the best ways to handle pregnancy and employment.

When Will I Get My Final Paycheck if I'm Fired?
When will you receive your final paycheck if you are fired from your job? When you get your final paycheck depends on company policy and state law.

When Will I Get My First Paycheck?
When you receive your paycheck depends on the timing of the companies payroll. Employees typically receive a paycheck either weekly or bi-weekly.

When Will I Get My Last Paycheck?
When will you receive your last paycheck if you resign or are terminated from your job? When you get your final paycheck depends on state law and on company policy.

Will I be Paid for Unused Vacation or Sick Time if I'm Fired?
Because companies are not obligated to provide paid vacation or sick time to employees, they are also not required to pay for unused leave time, unless there is a state law providing for payment when an employee is fired or laid-off.

Will I Get Paid for Working on a Holiday?
Holiday pay is pay for holidays, like Christmas Day, or other time not worked (like vacation) when a business may be closed or the employee is permitted to take time off from work.

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