• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly
  • California Employment Law
  • New York Employment Law
  • Texas Employment Law

Q&A

Not everyone counts for COBRA threshold

04/01/2000

Q. This year our company may exceed 20 employees for the first time. Is it true that employers of 20 or more employees have to offer COBRA? Do part-time employees and independent contractors count toward that total? —M.K., Minnesota

You must pay for all work, even if it’s not authorized

04/01/2000

Q. In the October 1999 issue, you explained that nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime for all hours over 40, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized. Do we owe overtime if a nonexempt employee works more than his or her scheduled hours even if the total number of hours worked does not exceed 40? —J.P., Illinois

Check state law before asking about convictions

04/01/2000

Q. Our employment application asks whether the candidate has been convicted of a felony. Is it legal for us to ask this? If so, can we ask what the applicant has been convicted of and can that information be used as a basis for not hiring an individual? —C.H., Arizona

Pay for ‘Floating Holiday’ Depends on Your Policy

03/01/2000

Q. We gave eligible employees a “floating holiday” in lieu of having Dec. 31, 1999, as a paid holiday. We generally pay employees for all unused vacation, sick and personal time upon termination, but we have no policy regarding an unused floating holiday. Do we have to pay workers for any unused floating holidays upon termination? Does it make any difference if the employee requested the day off but the supervisor denied the request? —C.R., Illinois

Snow days might not freeze out exempt workers

03/01/2000

Q. Due to recent snowstorms, some employees have not been able to get to work. Can we dock the pay and/or accrued leave of employees who do not come to work? Can we do so even if the office is closed? Our attorney told us that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to us because, among other things, our gross sales are under $500,000. —A.I., Maryland

What not to ask job references

03/01/2000

Q. Are there any questions we cannot or should not ask a reference when screening applicants? —B.B., Louisiana

You can recoup loss for payroll error

03/01/2000

Q. We direct-deposit the wages and salaries of most of our employees. Last week, two checks for the same pay period were deposited into an employee’s account. Can we legally have the bank withdraw the extra funds from the employee’s account? —M.F., California

Notify employees before stripping unused vacation

02/01/2000

Q. Can we require employees to forfeit vacation time that they don’t use within a certain period? —G.J., Massachusetts

What should we do with unsolicited résumés?

02/01/2000
Q. We get numerous unsolicited résumés through email and regular mail. Do we have any duty toward these individuals? Do we have any obligation to keep the materials they send?

Tell employee of subpoena for personnel file

01/01/2000

Q. We recently received a subpoena to produce the contents of an employee’s personnel file in connection with a lawsuit. The employee is a party to the lawsuit, but the company is not. Do we have to comply with the subpoena? Should we tell the employee about the subpoena? —K.H., District of Columbia