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Employment Law

Independent contractor label is no protection from overtime

05/01/2000
In 1991, Perdue Farms Inc. changed the status of the chicken catchers at its poultry plants from employees to independent contractors, which made them ineligible …

Pay workers for travel time when you control their travel

05/01/2000
Royal Packing Co. required its agricultural employees to travel to and from the fields each day on company-provided buses. Employees met each morning …

Don’t lose your at-will right by guaranteeing a job for life

05/01/2000
Officials at the Huntsman Corp. allegedly told James Scott Wesson that he “would always have a job” there. But Wesson’s employment contract made no mention of lifetime employment. When the company …

Green light given for disparate mental, physical benefits

05/01/2000
Seven federal appeals courts have now ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t keep you from offering a different level of benefits …

Boost your immigration IQ

05/01/2000
There are six million illegal immigrants in the United States and tough federal sanctions against businesses that hire them. But your business can benefit from federal immigration law by taking advantage …

Limits on comp time for exempt employees

05/01/2000

Q. One of my managers had to work on a holiday, and the hourly employee who worked with him got double time in addition to the holiday pay. When the salaried employee wanted to take time off shortly afterward, my boss said it was not legal to give him comp time—he would have to be paid for the holiday he worked. The employee would rather have time off. Is there no comp time for anyone? —J.W., North Carolina

Be careful when altering pregnant worker’s pay

05/01/2000

Q. If a pregnant employee is salaried and is missing two days of work a week, can we legally make her an hourly employee? When the employee was hired, her contract should have been hourly. Is it legal to change the basis of her pay now? —C.H., Michigan

Don’t ask reference things you wouldn’t ask candidate

05/01/2000

Q. I know that it’s illegal to ask applicants certain questions, like whether they are married. Are there any questions I can’t ask a previous employer or reference? —F.T., Maine

Employee car accident may spell liability for company

05/01/2000

Q. An employee injured on the job recently was transported to the hospital by a co-worker. On the way back to work, they were in a car accident and both employees tested positive for illegal substances. What is our total liability? What can companies do to protect against this scenario? —T.K., Ohio

Don’t let tummy aches turn into entitlements

05/01/2000
Katherine Thorson was fired for excessive absenteeism after missing four days of work due to stomach cramps and medical tests. All of her tests were normal, but weeks later (after her …