Q&A

Boss beat-down: What's our liability?

09/01/2015
Q. We recently had an incident in which a supervisor hit one of our employees. Are we liable? And what types of workplace violence is a company responsible for preventing?

Are posters required at every worksite?

09/01/2015
Q. Must a company post mandatory notices at every worksite? What are the penalties for failing to put up the mandatory posters?

Must we pay for employees' auto repairs?

09/01/2015
Q. Are employers responsible for fixing an employee’s car if it is involved in an accident while traveling to conduct company business on company time?

How often can employees see their files?

09/01/2015
Q. Does Pennsylvania law limit on how frequently employees may review their personnel files?

What are California's unique overtime rules?

08/26/2015
Q. Do I have to pay overtime to an employee when he or she does not exceed 40 hours of work per week?

What's the latest on unpaid internships?

08/26/2015
Q. Is there a recommended way to utilize interns without running the risk of breaking the law?

Must we pay out unused PTO on termination?

08/26/2015
Q. I know that California employers are required to pay out unused vacation time, but what about accrued but unused PTO or floating holidays?

Do we have to hire the partying applicant?

08/19/2015
Q. We are hiring a new salesperson, and were about to offer the position to a seemingly well-qualified applicant. As part of our reference check, a social media search was also conducted. Several photos of the candidate passed out surrounded by empty booze bottles at what looks like a fraternity party and other photos of partying were found. We are considering not hiring this applicant because of the results of the social media search. Would that present any problem for us legally?

Must we permit transitional work following off-duty injuries?

08/19/2015
Q. An employee was injured away from work. He is now demanding to return to work as an accommodation for his injuries, which he claims is a disability under both the ADA and Minnesota Human Rights Act. We do have a transitional work program, whereby we create work to aid workers injured on the job in returning to work. The work involves duties that we otherwise outsource, such as floor sweeping, etc. Our injured employee is not able to return to his prior position due to the physical nature of that job, and is now demanding that we provide him this sort of transitional work. Must we?

Is employee in jail entitled to FMLA leave?

08/19/2015
Q. We have an employee who is on final warning due to his poor attendance. The employee recently requested FMLA leave to care for his wife. While on FMLA leave, it was reported in the newspaper that the employee was arrested for drug possession. He was in jail for several days, including several workdays. The employee is now out of jail and wants to return to work. Can we treat the employee’s absences from work while in jail as occurrences under our attendance policy, or do we have to treat the time as FMLA leave, even though the employee could not have been caring for his wife the days in question since he was in jail?

Can a church ask about an applicant's religious beliefs?

08/13/2015
Q. As a church employer, is it legal for us to request an applicant to state his or her religious beliefs, or to require them to be of our beliefs?

Listening to customer calls: Do we have to notify?

08/13/2015
Q. We plan to start having supervisors listen in on trainees’ phone conversations with customers. Do we have to inform the caller that we’re listening? We think the “this call may be recorded” message makes the call less authentic?

What are the legal risks of a 20% salary cut for all?

08/13/2015
Q. We have to reduce salary wages by 20%. The plan is to reduce three of the five departments to 32 hours and adjust their wages accordingly. Is this legal?

Can we circulate staff cell numbers and addresses?

08/13/2015
Q. We created an employee directory in Outlook that contains employee home numbers, cell numbers and addresses. It’s for internal use only. An employee complained. Is there any legal issue with us posting this information? Do we need to get permission from employees?

Suspended 'pending investigation:' What information do we owe the employee?

08/11/2015
Q. If an employer suspends an employee “pending investigation,” what information must be provided to the employee?
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