Q&A

Can employees agree to waive their FMLA rights?

09/01/2007

Q. I have been told the company cannot require an employee to sign a valid release of a potential FMLA claim. We recently have gone through a downsizing. We have a severance policy that provides a nice benefit, but to qualify, the employee must sign a general release promising not to sue the company over any employment-related matter. The release includes any claim under the FMLA. Is that OK? ...

Business travel and pay

09/01/2007

Q. We have asked one of our hourly (nonexempt) employees to attend a trade show in Las Vegas. He will be flying on Sunday and attending the trade show on Monday and Tuesday, and then returning Tuesday night on the “red eye.” Do we pay the employee for the hours he is traveling? What if he doesn’t come to work until 1 pm on Wednesday after flying all night? ...

Can you consider FMLA leave in employee's review?

09/01/2007

Q. We have an employee who takes a lot of intermittent FMLA leave for medical reasons. We are writing her performance appraisal and need to address topics such as dependability, reliability, etc. Her FMLA leaves are affecting these issues. Does the law regulate whether we can lower her performance review or merit increases based on her FMLA leave? —G.L., Massachusetts ...

When to pay for travel time in company car

09/01/2007

Q. We provide certain hourly employees with a vehicle to drive to and from job sites. Employees are required to pick up the vehicle at our offices by 6 am. After working at various job sites, they’re required to bring the vehicle back to the office at day’s end. Should the drive time from the final job site back to the office be compensated? —M.R., Arizona ...

Must we let workers on FMLA leave use sick leave?

09/01/2007

Q. Our policy states that sick leave is available to employees who are scheduled to work but unable to do so due to illness or injury. It’s not available to employees who are on (FMLA) leaves of absence because—due to the leave—they’re not scheduled to work. In other words, we don’t allow employees on FMLA leave to take paid sick leave. Do we have to? —S.B., Pennsylvania ...

How to deal with unauthorized overtime

09/01/2007

Q. We have a “no overtime without approval” policy. If employees put down overtime on their time sheets, do we have to pay it if the extra time isn’t approved? —A.W., Oregon ...

Required time limit for job postings?

09/01/2007

Q. We post all open positions on our web site. Is there a law (or at least a guideline) that requires jobs be posted for a certain period? We post most jobs for five days, but leave them posted for 10 days if it’s a position for which we have few minorities apply. No one knows why. Should we continue? —D.M., Missouri ...

Vista may not release data on those who employ day laborers

09/01/2007

Recently, a Superior Court for San Diego County issued a temporary restraining order to stop the city of Vista from releasing the personal information of employers registered to employ contingent workers. The decision came after Vista passed an ordinance requiring registration of anyone who hired day laborers from “uncontrolled locations” ...

Any requirement to pay out or roll over unused sick leave?

09/01/2007

Q. Our policy provides employees with five days of paid sick leave each year. If workers do not use all this time off, are we required to pay them for that time or roll it over to the next year? ...

Q&A: Thanks for the two-Week notice ... Now clean out your desk

09/01/2007

Q. If an employee resigns and gives two weeks’ notice, can the employer tell the worker that he or she is not needed for the two weeks and avoid paying the person for that time? ...

How much time off for children's school activities?

09/01/2007

Q. With school starting, can you remind us what our obligations are to grant workers time off to participate in their children’s school-related activities? ...

Must we provide time off for rehab?

09/01/2007

Q. An employee recently told us he has a drug problem and would like to take several weeks off to participate in a rehabilitation program. May we deny his request? ...

Limited right to terminate employees whose wages are garnished

09/01/2007

Q. Every time we turn around, a certain employee is having his wages garnished. We’re sick and tired of the added paperwork and are ready to terminate his employment. Is this a valid reason? ...

Georgia law requires issuing DOL-800 forms for all separations

09/01/2007

Q. It has always been our practice to issue separation notices only when we involuntarily discharge or lay off an employee, but our new plant manager believes we have to issue them even when an employee resigns voluntarily. What’s the rule? ...

Georgia Crime Information Center an invaluable tool for employers

09/01/2007

Q. I’ve heard that the state of Georgia can help me make sure my employees are honest, law-abiding citizens. In conducting background checks on applicants, what sort of information is available from the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC)? ...