Q&A

How should we pay for weekend travel time?

10/31/2014
Q. How do you pay hourly employees who are traveling on a day that’s not considered a workday, like Saturday or Sunday? What if they normally have a 10-minute commute to the office but instead they have to go to the airport, which is an hour away?

Trust assistant to maintain confidentiality?

10/31/2014
Q. I’m the HR director of a 45-employee company and have one assistant. Due to the firm’s growth, I’m considering giving my assistant more responsibility. My concern: The assistant is very friendly with about 10 other employees, two of whom are her roommates. What’s to stop her from divulging information to her friends? I have said nothing to her about my concerns yet. What can I express to her without overstepping her legal rights?

What kind of employee files do we need?

10/31/2014
Q. How many files should be kept for each employee and what paperwork must be included in each?

What's the procedure for handling a worker's comp claim when an employee is injured?

10/27/2014
Q. As a California employer, what should I do if one of my employees gets injured on the job or has a work-related illness?

Which interview questions are off-limits?

10/27/2014
Q. What questions am I prohibited from asking during employment interviews?

Even though we have no employees, do we still need workers' comp coverage?

10/27/2014
Q. My daughter and I are the sole owners of our business. Are we required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage even though we have no employees?

Seizure disorder raises safety issue: Can we fire?

10/23/2014
Q. A new employee just told us she has a seizure disorder. Our facility works with vulnerable adults and the new employee would be required to drive them. This poses a risk potential for the client’s safety. Can we terminate this person or do we need to figure out an accommodation? The employee hasn’t asked for any yet.

Worker damaged truck then quit: Any recourse?

10/22/2014
Q. An employee driving a backhoe backed into a wall and tore the door off. We had to install a new door ($275), but the employee quit that same week. So we deducted $275 from his last check. Now he says he’s talking to a lawyer. Were we right?

Collection agency calls: Must we give workers' info?

10/17/2014
Q. Our small business sometimes gets calls from loan providers or collection agencies about our em­ployees. What information are we required to give?

What do we need to consider before offering extra pay for weekend work?

10/14/2014
Q. We have a short-term project coming up that is going to require some of our hourly, nonexempt employees to work some extra weekend hours. We are thinking we might pay them a higher rate to work on the weekends to encourage employees to volunteer and to reward them. Is there anything we should be keeping in mind before we do that?

What should we do? Employee is missing work because of what we suspect is domestic abuse

10/14/2014
Q. We have a female employee who is having personal problems and keeps missing work. She sometimes comes to work with visible bruises, and we suspect her spouse is abusive. While we’re sympathetic, we also have important work that isn’t getting done and the employee’s last-minute absences are a problem. We’ve told her how important attendance is, but the problem isn’t going away. Can we fire her?

How should we handle worker's upcoming transgender transformation?

10/14/2014
Q. We have a male employee in our accounting department. He recently told us that he plans to start presenting himself as female and is thinking of undergoing surgery to transform to a female. We think we will have employees who are really uncomfortable with this situation, so we are wondering if we can terminate our accounting employee or if this might get us into trouble?

Personnel files: Where & how long to keep them?

10/10/2014
Q. How long do we need to keep personnel files? And can we keep them in offsite storage?

What are my federal record-keeping requirements?

10/07/2014
Q. As a private employer, what federal record-keeping regulations must I follow?

When is an employee covered by the FMLA?

10/07/2014
Q. An employee has worked for us for 12 months, but the service has not been consecutive. Does he still qualify for leave under the FMLA?
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