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Q&A

Can we make flu shots mandatory?

03/20/2013
Q. Because this season’s flu outbreak was so severe, next fall we would like to require all our employees to get a flu vaccine. We hope this will cut down on employee absences during flu season. Would such a policy be lawful?

Does time in alcohol rehab count for FMLA leave?

03/18/2013
Q. If an employee is admitted to a nonmedical facility for alcohol addiction, can this leave qualify under the FMLA? If so, what documentation is acceptable? Can a letter from the facility be substituted for medical documentation?

What could get in the way of a settlement that prevents all possible future claims?

03/15/2013
Q. We are entering into a settlement agreement with a former employee with whom we have had lots of issues over 10 years. We want assurances that he will not come back with any further claims. Can a single release cover every type of legal claim?

Is our employee entitled to take FMLA leave so she can try out a new job?

03/15/2013
Q. The minor child of one of our employees has a disability. She was approved to be his personal care attendant and requested FMLA leave to see if she would like to do this as a job going forward … I know FMLA is available to care for a child, but can she use FMLA as a way of trying out a new job?

Can we require a release of legal claims in exchange for severance pay?

03/15/2013
Q. We have to let an employee go because we are overstaffed. In the past, we have given one week of severance pay for every year of employment. We would like to start requiring those who accept severance to sign a waiver. Can we? Do we have to pay more?

New employee in skimpy attire: Can we create a dress code without singling her out?

03/13/2013

Q. Our company is very casual and has no dress code. A recent hire is a young woman who wears low-cut tops and short skirts. Our staff is predominantly male and this has become a distraction and frequent conversation topic. How can we implement a dress code now without appearing to single anyone out?

Layoff and then a walkout: What’s our COBRA obligation?

03/12/2013

Q. Our business recently was forced to implement layoffs—and most of our remaining employees walked off the job. All were given a COBRA notice, but only one chose to take the coverage. Since this was a group insurance policy and only one person will now be insured, the insurer is canceling our policy. What’s our responsibility to that ex-employee?

Who owns the blog: the author or the company?

03/12/2013

Q. One of our account managers writes a blog geared toward our clients as a marketing tool. It’s linked to our website and shares our brand identity. All of the content goes through an approval process before posting. If he were to leave the company, could he take the blog with him?

Next year, what steps can we take to protect workers against the flu?

03/12/2013
Q. We’ve had so many employee absences due to the flu this year. Next year, can we require all employees to get a flu shot?

What are wage-and-hour implications of tracking time for telecommuters?

03/07/2013

Q. We recently started permitting two of our employees to telecommute on certain days of the week. We are concerned with tracking these employees’ hours. What are the wage-and-hour concerns we should be aware of for telecommuting employees?