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Ask the Attorney Archives

Can we require employees to wear proof of their vaccination status?

Q: “Is an employer well within its rights to request that verified vaccinated employees wear a special covid badge to be allowed to be unmasked on the company’s property? So, no company-provided covid badge = you must wear your mask at all times.” – Anonymous, Illinois

New York’s HERO Act–what are our obligations?

Q: “What are the details and requirements of New York’s HERO Act? When must it be implemented? As I understand, it needs to be developed but not put in place nor activated in the working environment until there is a severe disease outbreak. Is there a template or guide to use in the development stage?” – Kenneth, New York

Can we require an attestation of vaccination?

Q: “What recourse does an employer have against an employee if we are requiring them to complete an attestation form regarding the employee’s covid vaccination status? Can the employer terminate the employee or prevent them from reporting to work until the form has been completed? By requiring the employee to respond to the request, is the company violating any HIPAA, ADA or PHI laws?” – Anonymous, Hawaii

What are the mask guidelines for non-vaccinated employees?

Q: “Our state requires that we follow CDC guidance in respect to the pandemic, which at this point in time states that all fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities done prior to the pandemic. “It is not clearly defined, but the guidance seems to state just the opposite for unvaccinated individuals. We created a policy based on this that all fully vaccinated employees who bring in their proof of vaccination to HR have a choice to be unmasked, and those unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated must continue to wear their masks. “Are there specific consequences for those who do not follow this new policy, or would they be the same for not following any other policy? What are other businesses doing?” – Sonya, New Mexico

What are the general timing guidelines for an employee drug test?

Q: “Our business is in California. I read that if an employee tests positive for drugs, he/she has the right to get tested in any clinic of their choice within 10 days of getting the positive test; also, that they can be tested up to 72 hours of being asked. Can our employer make it mandatory that they get tested right away, and that they do not have the option to get a second exam?” – Quintila, California

A no call/no show might be an arrest situation–what now?

Q: “An employee did not show for work for three days of scheduled shifts. Normally, three no call/no shows are considered job abandonment and result in termination; however, we are suspicious that the employee may have been arrested. We have attempted to contact him on several occasions and have reached out to his emergency contact with no response back. Any recommendations on how to handle this situation?” – Katherine, Pennsylvania

Exempt employee works fewer hours–do they still get full pay?

Q: “When you have a salary exempt employee, do they have to work the full 80 hours to get fully paid, or is there a minimum amount of hours they can work?” – Elisa, Texas

How much payroll information can we share with staff?

Q: “Can an employer send a group email with a list of all employees and the hours each employee worked for the pay period?” – Mark, Missouri

Are we on the hook if a social media hack creates a false job opening?

Q: “Our company LinkedIn account was hacked with a bogus job opening to which people are responding. Do we have any responsibility?” – Beth, Ohio

How does the new minimum wage for federal contractors work?

Q: “Do we have to comply with the new federal minimum wage of $15 effective 1/1/22? We are a nonprofit company that has over $2 million in grant contracts. Are we excluded?” – Nancy, North Carolina