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Communication

Educate employees on new benefit-law changes

02/01/2002
Few workers seem aware that last year’s new tax law lets them save more in their 401(k) plans this year, perhaps because most companies haven’t told them. Only 30 percent …

Laying off the layoffs

01/01/2002
Layoffs that aren’t handled well can trigger lawsuits, particularly if workers feel they weren’t treated fairly. But a recent survey shows that businesses are taking many steps to ease the impact. …

Bar workers from driving company car after drinking

01/01/2002

Q. We recently learned that an employee who drives a company vehicle is stopping on the way home for a few drinks. How should we handle this employee? Should we notify all employees that if they use drugs or alcohol in the workplace or while driving a company vehicle, they will be terminated? —R.O., California

When threats loom, follow officials’ advice

12/01/2001

Q. In light of the recent anthrax attacks, we are concerned about the potential health risks to our employees from handling incoming mail—and the potential legal risks to us. What should we be doing to protect them and ourselves? —V.B., Ohio

An honest mistake won’t sink you

10/01/2001
After receiving a phone message that her father had suffered a heart attack, Vickie Medley told her boss that she was leaving Denver immediately to drive to Nebraska. Over the next …

You Can Restrict Use of Personal Days

10/01/2001

Q. If a company provides both personal and vacation days for its employees and does not define what a personal day is, can that be used for anything outside of vacation time? —E.H., Utah

Privacy Laws Protect Most Phone Conversations

08/01/2001

Q. I’m considering instituting a policy at my company that would permit me to record my employees’ phone conversations. Can I record employee phone calls without their consent? —P.C., Michigan

Supreme Court lets stand ruling that limits employee’s FMLA rights

07/01/2001
The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower-court ruling that minimizes the impact when an employer fails to notify a worker promptly that he is ineligible for time off under …

Requests for accommodation must be reasonable

06/01/2001
After an argument between Manuella Reed and a co-worker, her plant manager told Reed she should walk away from altercations and contact a supervisor. Months later, Reed got into a heated …

Employee must notify you of change in disability status

04/01/2001
David Wurzbach had leukemia, so his doctor recommended limited public contact to reduce his risk of infection. Because his job with the City of Tacoma required lots of public interaction, the …