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Ask the Attorney Archives

What are the rules for cellphone reimbursement?

Q: “When it comes to reimbursing employees or providing a monthly stipend for the use of their personal cellphones for business purposes, is this a non-taxable fringe benefit?” – Maren, Virginia

Must we pay exempts for a full week if the office is closed for some of it?

Q: “What are the conditions under which you are not required to pay an exempt employee for a day? If the company is closed for a few days, can we pay employees three out of the five normal workdays for which they will actually be at work?” – Michael, California

What is required by New York’s reproductive health law?

Q: “New York state now has a reproductive health law that needs to be included in employee handbooks. What exactly is required by the New York Labor Law section 203-e and how should it be presented? The requirements are not clear.” – Ken, New York

What happens when FMLA leave is exhausted before the baby is born?

Q: “An employee is expecting a baby, but has had some complications and has been put on bed rest. She is currently on FMLA leave. By the time the baby is born, she will have already used 10 weeks of FMLA. Does the birth start a new FMLA leave cycle or is it a 12-week max within a year regardless of reason(s)?” – Chrissy, Tennessee

When have we kept employee records too long?

Q: “Is there any legal liability for an employer keeping employee records for too long? For example, seven years? I know they need to be shredded, but what if you are audited and it is found you have employee files from 15 years ago?” – Anonymous, Texas

How do we know when to obey a garnishment order?

Q: “We received an order directing us to withhold wages from an employee from ECMC (Educational Credit Management Corporation). Since this is not a government entity, are we required to process mandatory withholding that is listed on the Order of Withholding from Earnings?” – Julia, California

What to do if an employee on workers’ comp stops paying for insurance?

Q: “We have an employee out on workers’ compensation who has stopped paying his portion of his medical insurance. We emailed him a reminder but he has failed to respond and he is suing us for his case, since he was denied workers’ compensation. I have not terminated him, but I would like to know if I can move his insurance to COBRA due to disability and non-payment?” – Kim, California

Whose state regulations do remote workers abide by?

Q: “If our office is in New Jersey and we have an employee working in Georgia, does that employee fall under the New Jersey Family Leave Act? Is there a Georgia Family Leave Act that she is entitled to? How is coverage determined?” – Marta, New Jersey

Is it unlawful to reveal the medical information of non-employees?

Q: “If an employee has a death in the family and persons of authority tell multiple people the circumstances of the death, can the employee sue the company? If not, what recourse would the employee have?” – Patty, Wyoming

Did we pay these workers correctly when they had kids in the hospital?

Q: “We have two employees. One is salaried and the other is hourly. Both are considered full-time employees. Both had children in the hospital for a short span of time. The salaried employee was not required to turn in a form for the time he was away from work. The hourly employee was required to turn in a form for the amount of time he was away from his work, which was subtracted from his annual PTO time. Is that legal?  – Marchia, Oklahoma