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3 questions on pay equity

Where does the fight over pay equity stand? … How should we adjust to this trend? … What should we do now to ensure pay equity?

Are we allowed to refuse to hire employees with very thick foreign accents?

Q. We are a large telemarketing company. We often receive customer complaints about employees who speak in thick accents. Can we refuse to hire individuals with accents for this reason?

3 questions about pregnancy leave in California

What are California’s rules on pregnancy leave? … How should we handle pay while someone is out on pregnancy disability leave? … How to count pregnancy disability leave?

4 questions about Austin’s new sick leave law

Answers to four reader questions about the new law.

Are truck drivers automatically due overtime?

Q. Are motor carriers exempt from complying with California’s usual overtime pay requirements?

How should we handle transgender dress code?

Q. A new employee refuses to comply with our dress code, which has slightly different requirements for men and women, because the individual is transgender. Though the new employee marked “female” on our employment application, the individual has since told us about identifying as a man. Can we require this employee to follow our dress code for women?

Are we allowed to tell women they can’t wear pants at work?

Q. I am an HR director for a traditional, conservative company and have run into a new issue. When onboarding employees, I always explain our preferred dress code: we prefer women to wear skirts and dresses with pantyhose to work because many of our senior partners are old-fashioned. A new female employee said she would prefer to wear pants. Can we require her to wear a skirt instead?

Must we pay for travel time between home and airport and between airport and hotel?


Q. Is an employer required to pay an employee for time spent traveling from home to the airport (and vice versa, from airport to home on the return trip), and for travel time from the airport to a hotel (and vice versa)?

How should we pay nonexempt employees when they are traveling on business?


Q. Our sales team travels around the country for client pitches and various project meetings. Some members of the sales team are nonexempt. While flying, some staff perform work on their computers, while others relax or listen to music. Are we required to pay employees for travel time even if the employees are not working?

When can we require medical exams? Are we allowed to make an employee pay for a job-related medical exam?


Q. May employers require medical examinations of applicants and employees?