Q&A

In a layoff, must we provide severance pay?

05/28/2014
Q. Our company is going to lay off several employees. Are we required to provide severance pay to those employees? If we provide severance pay, can we demand that employees sign a severance agreement stating that they will not sue the company?

Are we allowed to require employees to receive their wages through paycards?

05/23/2014
Q. Our company wants to start using paycards instead of issuing paychecks to employees who do not use direct deposit. Is it legal to use payroll cards in California?

What do we need to know before implementing a mandatory dress code?

05/23/2014
Q. Are we free to institute any mandatory dress code that we’d like?

What should we include in the 'mandatory wage statements' we must give new hires?

05/23/2014
Q. We are hiring a new employee and I understand that I have to give her a “Mandatory Wage Notice.” What information do I need to include on the notice?

Can we fire employees who collaborated on writing letter complaining about pay cuts?

05/22/2014
Q. We recently notified employees that we will be cutting pay due to difficult economic times. Then we received an anonymous letter expressing concerns about this decision. It suggested alternatives to pay cuts, such as eliminating our employer 401(k) match. We determined that the letter was written by one employee and edited by another. Can we terminate them?

Can we mandate direct deposit?

05/22/2014
Q. We require all employees to provide us with bank account information so we can direct-deposit their pay. One of our employees has refused and has told us that she is not required accept electronic deposits of her pay. Is the employee correct?

Is the government moving to address restrictions on employee discussion of wages?

05/01/2014
Q. We heard that the president recently took action on whether employees are permitted to discuss compensation. Are there any new requirements on employers with regard to these kinds of conversations?

Is there any law against nepotism?

04/30/2014
Q. Our COO just hired his son as a district manager for our largest region. There are many other individuals within the organization who are more experienced for the position. Are there any laws regarding nepotism in Pennsylvania?

What's the legal standard for firing an executive for behaving inappropriately?

04/30/2014
Q. We recently held a three-day meeting and on the second night one of the regional account executives proceeded to drink too much and behave very badly. He failed to show up for the final day of the meeting. Is this grounds for dismissal?

Can part-timers be salaried workers?

04/30/2014
Q. Can we pay any of our part-time employees as salaried employees?

For termination day, how much do we pay?

04/30/2014
Q. Our pay period is Sunday through Saturday. A salaried employee is being laid off on Monday. Should she be paid hourly for time worked during that final pay week?  Does that include the unauthorized time she informed her supervisor she worked on Sunday?

What's the full list of off-limits job interview questions in California?

04/27/2014
Q. We are looking to hire a new employee. Are there some questions I should steer away from?

Must we allow employee to review everything in her personnel file?

04/23/2014
Q. One of our employees has asked to see her personnel file. Are we required to show her the file? If so, do we have to give her access to everything contained in the file?

Any limits on time between shifts?

04/23/2014
Q. We need to schedule an employee for a shift from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. in order to close our store and begin a shift the next morning at 8 a.m. to open the store. Does California law require a minimum amount of time, such as 12 hours, in between scheduled shifts?

Is there a reason not to limit smoking breaks?

04/23/2014
Q. Two of our employees go outside to smoke almost every hour for about 10 minutes. Our other employees are starting to complain. Do we have to allow these 10-minute rest periods every hour?
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