Q&A

Investigating suspected employee theft

10/01/2007

Q. I think one of our employees is stealing. What are the proper steps to take to handle this situation? ...

Saying 'No' to the office beggar

10/01/2007

Q. An employee in our office regularly asks co-workers for small amounts of money and then never pays them back. We’ve all stopped giving him money, but he continues to ask, which makes many people feel uncomfortable. How do we get him to stop? ...

Under what circumstances can an employee challenge a termination?

10/01/2007

Q. If an employee believes he has been terminated unfairly, does he have a legal right to challenge the termination? ...

Can I stop employees from organizing?

10/01/2007

Q. How do I prevent employees from talking to a union or going to the National Labor Relations Board?

Use caution when dealing with 'Protected concerted activity'

10/01/2007

Q. I recently received a memo signed by all four employees in one department asking for 5% raises. Can I have a meeting with them to let them know that there is no money for raises, that their department could easily be eliminated and that they would be smarter just to keep a low profile and do their jobs? ...

How to handle pay for interns

10/01/2007

Q. Must a Texas employer pay its interns? ...

Promotions and age discrimination

09/01/2007

Q. We are reviewing two employees for a promotion, one is 55 and the other is 45. We are concerned that if we select the younger employee, we will be charged with age discrimination. Are we safer selecting the older employee, assuming both candidates are qualified for the job? ...

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” ...