• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Ask the Attorney Archives

Are we always obligated to provide ex-employees with copies of personnel records?


Q: “An employee who was let go after 30 days for non-compliance and falsification issues is now requesting a copy of her personnel record after two years. Are we legally required to give it?” – Judy, Alaska

What do we do when a resigning employee files for workers’ comp on his way out?


Q: “I have an employee who gave two weeks’ notice, but filed a workers’ compensation claim five days before his last day, stating that he had been hit on the head by a door, causing head and neck injuries. Does his resignation stand even though there is a workers’ compensation claim pending? And if so, do we have the right to ask the employee not to come back to work for the rest of his two weeks?” – Jenny, Kansas

How often must we pay pieceworkers?


Q: “How often must employees who work piecemeal in a factory be paid? Can they receive payment on the regularly scheduled pay date or must they be paid at the end of each job?” – Helen, New Jersey

How do we know when state law applies to employees working elsewhere?

Q: “My company’s corporate office is in Florida, where we have about seven employees. We have other employees in other states. Some laws clearly state that the law applies to remote employees no matter how many employees are at the remote location. When this is not stated, must my Florida employer comply with the other state laws?” – Mary, Florida

Are we required by law to offer a light-duty accommodation?

Q: “We have a policy that states if an employee gets injured away from work not on company time, we will not accommodate their injuries. We do not allow them to work light duty; they have to meet all requirements of the job before returning. Is this legal?” – Connie, Kansas

Short-term disability: Does paid time off still accrue?

Q: “An employee went on maternity leave and will use paid time off until the short term benefit kicks in. Does she continue to accrue PTO while on short-term disability?” – Anne, Texas

How do we protect ourselves from injury liability when a recovering worker returns?

Q: “We have an employee who is going to be having hip replacement surgery in a few weeks. We have not received anything from her doctor with any kind of restrictions or accommodations that we need to make before her surgery. She came in today using a cane. We are concerned that she might fall. We have no problem making some minor accommodations for her, but I am concerned that if she falls it will then become a workers’ comp claim. What can we do to protect ourselves?” – Pattie, Indiana

How best to scale our employee handbook across several states?

Q: “My company’s corporate office is in Florida. We also employ workers in New York, California, Nevada and Massachusetts. I was considering creating a general employee handbook and doing tabs, per state, to include specific-state compliance. How do I efficiently find differences and which ones should I make sure I include?” – Mary, Florida

A common FMLA question: Intermittent leave for a spouse’s care?

Q: “An employee has requested intermittent leave so she can call out to stay with her husband if he has an asthma attack. Do we have to grant it?” – Vernon, Alabama

Should we keep track of an employee’s disability payments even after he’s left the company?


Q: “We had an employee who went on long-term disability before his employment was terminated, which happened in February 2015. He is still receiving long-term disability payments. Should we be maintaining a copy of the documentation of his payments? He is no longer an employee, but if he files for unemployment compensation once his disability payments stop, will we need that documentation?” – Joanne, Oklahoma