Q&A

What does ADA say about accommodation when employee has communicable disease?

06/06/2017
Q. We discovered that a beloved member of our kitchen staff has hepatitis A. I know that many protections exist for individuals with disabilities, but we are worried about him handling food. Can we reassign him to the front of the house as a host?

Fear of violence: Can we terminate employee who has mental illness?

06/06/2017
Q. We discovered that one of our employees has a history of unprovoked violent fits due to schizophrenia. We certainly sympathize with our employee’s struggle, but we also worry about the safety of customers and other employees. Does state law allow us to fire him for this reason?

Can a thermostat adjustment really be an ADA reasonable accommodation?

06/06/2017
Q. One of our employees suffers from arthritis and has complained that the temperature of the office triggers joint pain. She has requested that we heat the entire office to 80 degrees Fahrenheit as an accommodation of her disability. Must we do so?

Collect unemployment during furloughs in Minnesota?

05/17/2017
Q. As a labor cost-cutting measure we are scheduling employees for three weeks on and one week off. We expect to keep this schedule indefinitely. Can employees collect unemployment for the one week they are off?

How should we track and manage work-at-home time for nonexempt employees?

05/10/2017
Q. We try to be a flexible workplace and sometimes get requests from employees to work from home for a day or two during school breaks and so on. I don’t have a problem with this for exempt employees, but what about hourly ones? How do we track that time?

How should we handle exempt employees' sick leave taken under our PTO plan?

05/10/2017
Q. The FLSA requires that we pay the full salary for any week in which the exempt employee performs any work. We have a sick leave plan for all employees included in our paid time off—or PTO—plan. If an exempt employee calls off sick, we dock her PTO available, which includes sick or vacation. In other words, our PTO isn’t split into sick and vacation pay. Can we dock this bank until it’s gone before we pay her for nonwork days?

How does the H-1B visa process work?

05/03/2017
Q. We have searched in the U.S. for a worker to fit a very specialized position at our company to no avail. We are considering using the H-1B program next year. How does the “lottery” process work?

Can we require seven straight days of work in Texas?

05/03/2017
Q. Can I schedule employees to work every day of the week during our accounting firm’s busy season, or must I give them Sundays off?

Is there any law that prohibits scheduling back-to-back closing and opening shifts in Texas?

05/03/2017
Q. When one of our two store managers goes on vacation, we want the other to cover both opening and closing shifts for a few days. However, this would give her only seven hours of rest between shifts. How much time between shifts must we give employees under Texas law?

Can we require seven straight days of work in California?

04/24/2017
Q. Tax season is very busy at our accounting firm. Can I schedule employees to work every day of the week during the spring?

How do we comply with California's human trafficking notice law?

04/24/2017
Q. I own a truck stop. Do I have notice-posting obligations regarding human trafficking under state law? If so, how do I comply?

Do we have to comply? Former employee demands to know why he was terminated

04/19/2017
Q. We fired a worker for poor performance, but we didn’t tell him exactly why. Now he is demanding the discharge reason in writing. What do we do?

How much time off to donate kidney?

03/29/2017
Q. I am a small employer. One of my employees plans to donate a kidney to her sibling. She will need to take time off for the surgery and recovery. How much time can she take off? Must it be paid?

Must I grant time off for employee to participate in firefighter training?

03/29/2017
Q. An employee who is a volunteer firefighter wants to take two weeks off to engage in related trainings. That seems like a lot of time to miss. Must I allow him to take this time off?

During crunch time, what are the meal break rules for long shifts?

03/29/2017
Q. We are entering the busy season at work and would like our employees to work longer hours than usual for the next two months. Do we have any obligations to provide our employees with additional meal breaks if they work longer than eight hours in one day?
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