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Q&A

Can an employee earn sick time while out on workers’ comp?

07/24/2009

Q. One of our employees is out on workers’ comp. Our contract says “no sick time will be lost or deducted” while employees are out on workers’ comp. But now he wants to know if he continues to accrue sick time and holiday pay while not working. Does he?

Are we liable for wages we didn’t pay while employee was waiting for drug test results?

07/24/2009

Q. We suspected an employee was using drugs, so we sent him to be tested. We told him he couldn’t work until the test came back in two days. The results were negative. Do we owe him wages for those two days?

How can we legally combat tardiness?

07/24/2009

Q. Some of our admin assistants are good employees, but they’re constantly late. What can we do to get them to come to work on time?

Can we cut the pay of maxed-out employees?

07/24/2009

Q. We have some employees who are earning the maximum salary for their job classifications. Can we cut their pay if we feel they’re overpaid?

Can we require riffed employees to sign a release before they receive severance pay?

07/20/2009

Q. Under our company policy, employees who are terminated because of a reduction in force are entitled to severance pay. Can we require them to execute a release in order to receive severance pay?

How much access must we grant when an employee asks to see his personnel file?

07/20/2009

Q. One of our employees has asked to review his personnel file. Must we grant his request?

Can we deduct from his paycheck? Employee ruined a company-issued laptop

07/20/2009

Q. One of our employees was issued a company laptop and later corrupted it by downloading games and other nonbusiness software. Can we recover the value of the damaged property from this employee’s next paycheck?

How far can our company go in prohibiting employees from smoking?

07/20/2009

Q. We are committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for our workforce. To that end, we strictly prohibit smoking on company property. Can we also prohibit employees from smoking during their lunch breaks and outside of work?

Can we open employees’ ‘confidential’ mail?

07/17/2009

Q. Can we legally open all mail delivered to employees at the office? What if it is stamped “confidential,” can we still open it? This is getting to be a problem because our mailroom opens all mail automatically.

Can you ask applicants if they have relatives on staff?

07/17/2009

Q. On our applications, can we include a question that asks if applicants are related to any current employees?