Q&A

Can we ban employee appointments during work?

07/18/2014
Q. I have an employee who is constantly scheduling appointments during work hours and having to leave. In the past two weeks alone, she missed 27 hours due to appointments. If we cannot restrict appointments outside of work, can I require documentation of appointments?

Telecommuting a reasonable accommodation?

07/15/2014
Q. We have an employee with a disability who has requested to work from home part time as an accommodation for her disability. Are we required to grant this request?

Separation agreements: Use arbitration agreements instead of claims releases?

07/15/2014
Q. We have seen that some companies are requiring their employees to agree to arbitration rather than a release of claims in their separation agreements. Is this an alternative worth exploring?

How should we manage family leave that isn't covered by the FMLA?

07/15/2014
Q. We hired an employee just a few months ago, so he does not qualify for leave under the FMLA. He has requested intermittent time off to care for a family member. We would like to allow him to take the time off, but we aren’t sure how to handle the situation outside of the FMLA. What is your advice?

Can I prohibit employees from all smoking?

07/07/2014
Q. I despise cigarette smoking, and I want to restrict my employees from smoking as much as possible. To what extent can I do so?

What's our risk of a sexual harassment suit?

07/07/2014
Q. The vice president of my company, whom I appointed, is really a nice guy, but he has propositioned many of the female employees on multiple occasions for sexual acts in his office. He has a great attitude towards the female employees who agree, but those who refuse have been recently discharged without my consent. Is this sexual harassment?

What could a race discrimination suit cost us?

07/07/2014
Q. An employee recently filed suit claiming race discrimination. What kinds of damages can he sue for, and what compensation could he receive?

What can I do about employee who is accusing me of wrongdoing?

07/07/2014
Q. An employee of mine recently reported me after allegedly seeing me “physically harm” another of my employees. Can I discharge this employee for reporting me?

Do we have an age discrimination risk if employee can no longer perform his job?

07/07/2014
Q. Jim has been a security guard for my company for over 20 years, and has always performed his duties without problem. Since his 60th birthday a few years ago, however, Jim has become steadily less able to walk the required distances during his rounds, and has also been forgetting crucial requirements of his position. Am I allowed to discharge him?

FMLA: Need certification or is a doctor's note OK?

07/04/2014
Q. Do employers have to request an official certification form for all FMLA situations, or can a physician’s note be enough for an employer to designate FMLA?

Can we require lie detector tests?

07/02/2014
Q. We have experienced several incidents of employee theft over the past few years. Would it be legal to require all job applicants to take a lie detector test?

What should we do? Her request for time off was denied, so she called in sick

07/02/2014
Q. What do we do if an employee calls in sick even though her request for time off was denied?

Can temps clock in using the same procedures as our regular employees?

06/24/2014
Q. Our business has been booming and we are short-staffed. We have brought on a number of temporary workers from a staffing agency. Is it acceptable to have the temporary workers use the same punch clock system that our regular employees use?

Can California employees authorize payroll deductions to cover costs to their employers?

06/24/2014
Q. In California, are payroll deductions for expenses or debts incurred unrelated to the performance of job duties permissible if authorized in advance and in writing by employees?

Are 'no poaching' agreements legal?

06/24/2014
Q. May two separate companies enter into an agreement to prevent each other from recruiting the best talent of each?
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