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Q&A

Can we recover business documents from employee’s personal laptop?

07/26/2013
Q. Many of our executives use their personal laptops for business purposes. We don’t have a policy governing this practice. We will be terminating our COO and want to know how we can legally go about transferring or deleting all work-related files from his personal computer.

Reporting-time pay: What if it’s clear employee is in no condition to work?

07/23/2013
Q. Does California’s reporting-time pay law apply to workers who report to work but appear to be unable or unfit to work?

How should we pay for overnight travel?

07/23/2013
Q. I know that the laws on overnight travel time are more restrictive in California than under federal law. Does the overnight travel rule under federal law apply in California or does an employer have to pay all travel time even if overnight travel is involved?

Annual reviews for part-timers: Are they required?

07/22/2013
Q. Are annual performance appraisals required for our part-time employees?  — Pamela, West Virginia

When is the right time to do background checks?

07/19/2013
Q. When should we be doing our background checks: Before an offer is made? After the offer is made and before employment? Or after employment has begun? We generally do the check after we make an offer and before employment starts. 

Must contractors still display union poster?

07/17/2013
Q. I understand that the rule requiring private employers to post a notice about employees’ union rights is dead and won’t become law. I may be considered a federal contractor and there is a provision in my contract about posting a notice of union-related rights. Am I free to ignore that?

Can an offer letter create liability?

07/17/2013
Q. Our company recently terminated a manager who had been with us for less than three months. He just seemed not to be the right fit. Now the former employee is threatening to sue, saying he left a good opportunity to take a job with us, based on our offer and what was said in the hiring process. We did use an offer letter, which stated that employment would be at-will and that the offer letter did not constitute a contract of employment. Do we have cause for concern?

What are the pitfalls of ‘double-breasting’ to win nonunion contracts?

07/17/2013
Q. We are a construction contractor. We work union, but increasingly find ourselves losing bids because we can’t compete with nonunion companies in certain industry segments. Can we just set up a separate operation to bid the nonunion work? I’ve heard that such “double-breasting” is common practice.

Can we ban moonlighting?

07/08/2013
Q. We have an employee who recently started working a second job. We currently don’t have a rule against moonlighting, but now he frequently comes in late and tired. It’s really affecting his work. Are we legally entitled to ban second jobs?

Is body odor a real disability?

07/07/2013
Q. Several employees have requested that we talk to another employee who, frankly, smells bad. I know she has medical problems. Can we ask her to do something about the odor or would that be discrimination based on disability?