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Ask the Attorney Archives

Must we allow an employee to reduce her own schedule?

01/14/2019
Q: “We have a full-time employee who wants to reduce her schedule for personal reasons. Do we have to accommodate her? She is hourly.” – Anonymous, Pennsylvania

Are commuting allowances considered taxable income?

01/14/2019
Q: “We offer our construction superintendents a monthly auto allowance and a weekly gas allowance. They are not required to turn in any type of expense report to receive these: the two were part of the offer of employment. Are both of these allowances considered taxable income under these circumstances?” – Kary, Florida

How exactly is distance measured when figuring out the FMLA compliance threshold?

12/17/2018
Q: “I know if we have 50 employees working within 75 miles, we must comply with the FMLA. But we have a facility that’s within about 65 miles as the crow flies, yet much longer by road due to the mountains here. I don’t want to make a mistake here, so is there a specific way distance is measured when it comes to FMLA compliance?” – Christopher, Colorado

Employee wants to come back after termination—what to say?

12/17/2018
Q: “What can a supervisor say to an employee who was terminated because they would not accept a suspension, but now wants their job back. The company does not want the employee reinstated. What is his supervisor allowed to say?” – Richard, Minnesota

How would this baby-bonding time situation be covered?

12/17/2018
Q: “A client (over 50 employees) hired an employee in March 2018. His live-in girlfriend had a baby in July 2018. He has requested intermittent FMLA starting in February 2019. He wants to take every Thursday and Friday off as FMLA to care for his daughter so his girlfriend can go to school. Does this qualify as FMLA? I understand that intermittent FMLA may not be taken for the care of a newborn. Would New York’s Paid Family Leave be applicable?” – Kenneth, New York

What are the sick pay rules in California?

12/17/2018
Q: “My wife has a small business with seven employees, three of whom are temporary. We pay four sick days a year after they have been with us for one year; we also pay four holidays and one week of vacation. Do we have to pay temporary employees the same?” – Anonymous, California

What are the pay rules for these unusual waiting times?

12/01/2018
Q: “In cases of waiting at a hospital (i.e., work-related injury) or filing a police report (not on work premises, i.e., work-related theft), should an employee be paid for that time?” — Anonymous, Illinois

How does comp time work in Pennsylvania?

12/01/2018
Q: “I am confused regarding the FLSA laws regarding comp time for nonexempt employees in the state of Pennsylvania. Currently we have been giving nonexempt staff the option of getting paid overtime or taking comp time (if it’s in the same week). However, they are not taking one and a half times the amount in comp time, which doesn’t appear to be right. Now I’m reading that only public or state-run companies can offer comp time in the state. Is this right? Also, if we can offer the comp time, how much can employees accrue, and how long do they have to take it?” — Anonymous, Pennsylvania

What is the ADA compliance threshold?

12/01/2018
Q: “For ADA issues, are we accountable, as we have fewer than 30 employees?” — Richard, Minnesota

How do we handle these PTO issues to comply with the FLSA?

11/29/2018
Q: “Regarding the FLSA, a salaried exempt computer professional puts in for 16 hours vacation but ends up with 92 actual work hours for the 80-hour pay period. He/she does not delete the vacation hours from their timesheet, and I am being instructed to still take the vacation time from their PTO bank. Of course, I know that this is not fair. However, is this even legal? “One more FLSA scenario: A salaried exempt employee works 102 actual work hours during an 80-hour pay period. Of course, he/she is paid their regular salary for that pay period. The following pay period, they only work 78 hours. I am being instructed to make them use PTO for the two additional hours to make a full 80 hours. Again, is this allowed under FLSA?” — Donna, New Jersey