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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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If employee voluntarily quits, must nonprofit employers offer COBRA coverage?

Q. We’re a nonprofit organization and offer health insurance to our 100+ employees. If an employee is enrolled in the health plan and voluntarily resigns, are we required to offer COBRA? Or does our nonprofit status let us off the hook?

Can we offer cash incentives for employees to opt out of our health insurance plan?

Q. We’re trying to reduce our group health benefit costs. Several employees are on both our plan and that of their spouses. They are willing to go off our group plan if we compensate them a certain amount of money each month. Is it legal to offer either medical insurance benefits or a cash alternative?

Can we request a note for all intermittent leaves?

Q. We have an employee who was approved for intermittent FMLA leave. Can we request that she provide us with a note from her doctor each time she misses work? Or do we have to trust her when she says she had a “flare-up” and couldn’t work?

Can we rearrange worker’s hours to avoid OT?

A new customer demands delivery on a weekend. A crush of work means shifts will have to keep running at unusual hours. Either way, you’re staring down the possibility that you’ll have to pay overtime. Can you legally avoid OT by altering workers’ regular schedules so no one works more than 40 hours in a workweek?

What rights do employees on military leave have?

Q. Several of our employees are in the Army Reserve or are on long-term leave due to military deployment. What rules apply?

What is ‘cat’s paw’ liability?

Q. I’ve been hearing a new term lately: “cat’s paw” lia­bil­ity. What is it, and why should I be worried about it?

What are the basics of retaliation liability?

Q. We keep hearing that retaliation can be a bigger lawsuit worry for employers than even discrimination or harassment. What kinds of employment laws impose retaliation liability?

Can we rearrange worker’s hours to avoid OT?

Q. We have laborers who work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A job needs to be done on a Saturday. We want to ask the employees to take time off later in the week once they have hit 40 hours. Are we able to ask them to do that?

What’s the law on granting time off for workers who want to attend kids’ school activities?

Q. Several of our employees have requested time off for their children’s end-of-year school events. What is our obligation to grant workers this time off?

Are there any legal issues to consider now that we’re hiring only ‘careful’ workers?

Q. Recently, several employees suffered work-related injuries shortly after we hired them. As a result, our workers’ compensation premiums have soared. The company’s CEO, in an effort to avoid this problem, has directed us to hire only “careful” workers in the future. Is this legal?