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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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William Sturges

Are unemployment benefits taxable?


Q. We have several employees that have been laid off and are receiving unemployment benefits. They have asked whether they are required to pay taxes on their unemployment benefits.

What to do about late time sheets?


Q. One of our field technicians is consistently late in providing her time sheets. This interferes with promptly billing our customers for work performed. Can we delay paying this employee as an incentive to submit her time sheets on time?

If fired worker lists us as a reference, will we get in trouble for telling the truth?


Q. Another company has requested a reference for an employee that we fired. The company has a signed form giving the employee’s written consent to ask us for a reference. Will we have legal problems if we provide negative information about the employee?

Can we put attendance conditions on whether we will pay for paid holidays?


Q. Our production manager heard that employers don’t have to pay holiday pay if an employee is absent the workday immediately before or after the paid holiday. Is this true?

Helping out when laying off: Supplemental unemployment plans


Layoffs are difficult for employees and employers alike. In these tough economic times, some employers are trying to help employees during layoffs and help prevent the permanent loss of good employees by implementing supplemental unemployment benefit plans.

If employees leave because of bad weather, must we pay them for a whole day’s work?


Q. Do we have to pay our employees for a full day’s work when they leave early due to bad weather?

Must we pay for steel-toed protective boots?


Q. Most of our employees wear safety steel-toed boots. One of our employees said his boots are worn out and we are required to reimburse him when he buys a new pair. Is that correct?

Can we take away accrued vacation leave?


Q. Some of our employees have accrued large amounts of vacation pay because they have worked here for many years. Can we strip this vacation pay at the end of the year?

Can we require harassment complaints in writing?


Q. Our new plant manager wants to revise the company’s sexual harassment policy to require all employee complaints to be in writing. Can we do this?

May we pay comp time instead of overtime?


Q. We are a private employer. Can we avoid paying overtime to our hourly employees by giving them comp time?