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Q&A

Men Eligible for ‘Maternity Leave’

08/01/2000

Q. My company offers 10 weeks paid maternity leave. Recently, a male employee asked whether he could take maternity leave. I said no, only women are eligible to take such leave. Was I right? —K.R., Maryland

Two May Be a ‘Group’ Under OWBPA

08/01/2000

Q. I know that the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that I provide an employee who has been discharged as part of a “group” termination at least 45 days to consider the terms of a release waiving his or her rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). How many employees constitute a “group”? —N.W., Pennsylvania

Beware of Restrictions on Right to Fire at Will

08/01/2000

Q. I would like to fire an employee who is unpleasant to work with. We simply don’t “click.” Do I have to have cause to terminate him? —A.C., Virginia

Workers’ comp benefits restrict some FMLA options

07/01/2000

Q. Can the time spent on workers’ comp leave be counted against family and medical leave? —D.H., Arizona

Limits on payroll deductions

07/01/2000

Q. An employee has not returned our calls or come to work at our hotel for over a week. She has a set of office keys and owes money for laundry. Can I hold her check until she returns the keys or pays for her laundry? Alternatively, can I deduct the cost of replacing the keys and laundry from her last paycheck? —I.C., Maryland

Recover training costs

07/01/2000

Q. Can we require an employee to sign an agreement to reimburse the company for half the expenses related to training, if the employee resigns within six months? —S.D., Northern Marianas

Weigh safety threat of disabled worker

07/01/2000

Q. Can I consider safety in deciding whether to hire an applicant or retain an employee with a disability? —G.P., Pennsylvania

Specify if workers must stay to collect bonuses

06/01/2000

Q. Our company pays quarterly and annual bonuses (depending on the position). If an employee is here throughout the entire quarter/year, but leaves before the bonuses are paid out, is he still entitled to the bonus? Our company has no written documentation stating that you must be employed at the time the bonus is paid. —J.S., Colorado

Help employees protect their identity from theft

06/01/2000

Q. A few employees have complained that we use their Social Security numbers as their ID numbers. They’re concerned about potential theft of their identity. Is it legal for employers to use Social Security numbers for ID purposes? —D.T., Illinois

Watch for warning signs of workers’ comp fraud

06/01/2000

Q. We’ve had a number of suspicious injuries at work this year. We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but how can we determine if these injuries are part of a workers’ comp insurance fraud scheme? —K.H., Mississippi