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Q&A

Can we withhold pay if employees are late in completing and submitting time cards?

11/19/2010
Q. We have two employees who regularly fail to turn in their time cards on a timely basis. Can we hold off on paying them until they submit their time cards? Can we delay payment until the next pay period?

Are use-it-or-lose-it vacation policies legal?

11/19/2010
Q. My company has a “use it or lose it” vacation policy. Is it lawful for employees who have not taken their vacations at the end of the calendar year to lose them if we have given our employees advance notice of our policy?

What makes someone ineligible for unemployment?

11/19/2010
Q. We want to fire a bad worker, and we don’t want to take an unemployment comp hit. Under California law, when can a terminated worker be denied unemployment benefits?

Can our harassment policy penalize false claims?

11/19/2010
Q. Can we implement a provision on our sexual harassment policy that imposes discipline on employees who bring false harassment claims?

Disability-related injury: Covered by workers’ comp?

11/19/2010
Q. Are employers liable if an employee is hurt on the job as a result of his or her own disability? For example, what happens if an employee with a heart condition has a heart attack? Is the employee entitled to workers’ comp because it happened at work? Or could we be liable because we allowed the employee to work?

Can we fire an employee for refusing to take a lie detector test?

11/15/2010
Q. One of our employees filed a sexual harassment complaint against another worker. After interviewing both parties, we are unable to resolve the credibility conflict. We asked the accused co-worker to take a polygraph exam, but he refused. Can we fire the employee for refusing to take the lie detector test?

Can a severance agreement waiving age claims prevent an ADEA suit?

11/15/2010
Q. We are considering terminating an employee who will turn 41 this month. Can we ask him to sign a severance agreement that includes a release of his age discrimination claims under the ADEA?

What hours can young teenagers work?

11/15/2010
Q. We have several employees who are 14 and 15 years old. Could you provide the specifics of the new regulations the U.S. Department of Labor recently issued relating to the work hours for these employees?

What can the HIRE Act do for our company?

11/15/2010
Q. How can the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act help us add staff?

How should we report new hires?

11/15/2010
Q. What are an employer’s obligations to report new hires?