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Compensation & Benefits

Facing layoffs? Avoid laying the groundwork for lawsuits

07/01/2001
Trimming your work force without smart legal advice is like performing surgery without a doctor. You may remove what you intended, but the complications could be deadly. Even if you …

Playing doctor: What’s a ‘serious’ condition under FMLA?

07/01/2001
Since 1993, employees have been able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their own “serious health condition” or to tend to a child, spouse or …

Urge Staff to Visit Doctor During Off-Duty Hours

07/01/2001

Q. We don’t usually require employees to provide documentation when they take time off for doctors’ appointments, but one worker has a pattern of scheduling these “appointments” on the Friday before holiday weekends. Can we request verification from the doctor’s office on a case-by-case basis? —J.B., Washington

Newborn’s Medical Problems May Warrant Shorter Hours

07/01/2001

Q. A long-standing employee recently took leave under the FMLA to give birth, but her twins have many medical complications. She exhausted her eligibility under our disability carrier and isn’t eligible for long-term disability because she’s not disabled. We want her back, but she can’t commit to even 20 hours a week. What are our obligations under the FMLA, and would this individual be entitled to unemployment compensation if we terminate her? —G.B., New York

Continuing deductions slams correction window shut

06/01/2001
Don’t wait until someone questions his exempt status to check whether you’ve been making improper pay deductions and then try to correct the situation. Although there’s a “window of correction” …

Give your health plan a discrimination checkup

06/01/2001
If you have a group health plan, now’s a good time to make sure it doesn’t discriminate against any worker. Reason: New federal nondiscrimination rules are set to take effect with …

Vacation policy could jeopardize at-Will rights

06/01/2001

Q. Under our written company policy, an employee who fails to give 20 working days’ notice before resigning forfeits any earned vacation days. Is this policy lawful? —C.R., Wisconsin

Take all steps needed for accurate time records

06/01/2001

Q. About a year ago, our company replaced manual time clocks and punch cards with a computerized system, so each employee would punch in and out on the computer. The information is downloaded directly to the payroll department. Despite numerous reminders, from stickers to manager meetings, we still have a chronic problem of employees failing to clock in or out of work. Any suggestions? —M.M., Minnesota

Maternity leave repayment may be discriminatory

06/01/2001

Q. Our maternity leave policy offers paid leave for female employees who plan to return to work after the birth of the child. If the employee quits before returning to work, she’s required to reimburse the company for the paid leave. Is this lawful? —A.C., Maryland

Go for the gold: Craft waivers that release you from all lawsuits

06/01/2001
The teachers and students in the classroom where Mary Jefferson was a part-time aide regularly used derogatory terms for females, such as bitch, slut and whore. As a result, Jefferson filed …