HR Support from Licensed Professionals
Would You Know the Answer?
Wage and Hour
- Company has a policy that no one is permitted to work overtime unless they get prior approval from their supervisor. An employee worked 43 hours in a week but did not get permission to do so. Does the company have to pay him/her overtime?
- Company has workers who drive to and from the work sites. Under what circumstances do they have to pay them for driving time? And how much do they have to be paid?
- Company has a written policy that states that if an employee damages or fails to return company property when they terminate employment, the company will reduce or keep their final paycheck in order to recoup the money. Can they do this?
- Company offers direct deposit but one employee does not want to participate. Can company require that an employee participate in the direct deposit?
- If an employee quits, how soon does the company have to pay them their final wages? What if they are fired?
- Does the company have to pay an employee for unused vacation and/or sick time after their employment terminates? Do they have to pay employees for breaks and lunch?
- Company requires that employees punch in and out with a time clock. If they are clocking in early and not “working,” does the company have to pay them?
- An employee has exhausted all their PTO days. They now have to be out for personal reasons. Normally you would be able to deduct for those days, however, during that time they do some email and answer phone calls for a half hour a day. Does this nullify the pay deduction?
- Do you have to pay independent contractors overtime?
- What is meant by the terms “exempt” and “non-exempt?”
- Employee just returned from WC injury. Prior to being off work, she typically worked 55+ hours per week. Since she is on light duty, the company does not have as much work available for her and they need to reduce her hours to part time or may need to lay her off. Can they do this?
- Company has a pregnant employee who consistently breaks company policy and has been written up on numerous occasions. Can they fire her?
- Company suspects that an employee is using illegal drugs and may be under the influence while at work. Can they send this person to be drug tested?
- Company has an employee who has returned full duty from a WC injury and they are worried that he will re-injure himself. What can they do?
- Company has a policy in which if an employee does not show up or call off for 3 days in a row, it is considered voluntary termination of their employment. An African-American man who has a pending EEOC charge of race discrimination against the company has failed to call or show up for work for the past three days. This same employee has had several write ups for other attendance issues. Should they fire him?
- During an interview a candidate is asked whether she had any children, whether she planned to have any more children, to what church she belonged and what her husband did for a living. Are these questions illegal? Why or why not?
- What questions should you avoid asking during an interview?
- Can you refuse to hire an applicant if you receive and unfavorable background check? Can an applicant ask for a copy of his/her background check?
- Can you ask an applicant if they are currently taking prescription medication?
- What compliance issues are involved in creating pre-employment tests?
- What information should not be gathered on an application? Can you as for an applicant’s social security number?
- If your company has 10 employees, are you required to comply with Title VII?
- A female employee reported to the owner that her supervisor is sexually harassing her. What should the company do? This same female employee has had some attendance issues and the company is considering firing her. Can they do this?
- A delivery person keeps asking your receptionist out, bringing her gifts and flowers. This makes your receptionist uncomfortable. Are you obligated to speak with this person even though they are not your employee?
- One of your best workers has approached you with a problem. She is being hit on by her department supervisor, but she doesn’t want you to do anything. She just wants it to be on record that she told someone. She’s handling the situation, and she asks you to promise not to discuss the matter with anyone. What do you do?
- What can a supervisor do to help employees feel safe reporting discrimination, workplace harassment and sexual harassment?
- A technician is contracted to maintain the office copy machine. Each time the technician makes a service call the technician tells a dirty joke. Some employees can’t wait for the machine to break down, just so they can hear the latest joke. Even though none of your employees have complained, what should you do?
FMLA, Injury and Illness
- An employee who has worked for the company for three years has informed the company that he will be having open heart surgery and may be out for six weeks. He holds a position that cannot remain vacant. Can they replace him? Do they have to allow him to return to work? If so, do they have to pay him while he’s off?
- A company has an FMLA policy that was not put in the handbook because it was too long, but they did post the FMLA poster in the break room. An employee has used FMLA in the past for the birth of his daughter and another time when he had the flu. Over the last few weeks, the employee is experiencing attendance issues and has quickly exceeded the allowable number of occurrences according the attendance policy. He is terminated. The employee then sues saying the company interfered with his FMLA rights. Does he have a case?
- You believe the employee’s physician was not clear enough regarding the employee’s condition on the Certification of Health Care Provider forms; can you call the doctor and ask for more details?
- An employee has worked for your company for 2 years and always averages 25 hours per week are they eligible for FMLA?
- One of your employees had minor surgery and was required to stay in the hospital overnight; they missed one day of work and did not require any further doctor’s visits. Should the absence be documented as FMLA?
- Does FMLA require a company to return the employee to the same position they were in when they went on leave?
- Are you required to pay for an employee’s benefits premiums while they are on FMLA leave?
- If an employee can no longer perform their original position due to a work related injury, are you required by the ADA to create a new position or move another employee to accommodate?
- The company does not have an employee handbook. How can they implement the necessary policies and procedures to ensure the employees are following the rules and that the company is within the labor and employment guidelines as set by federal, state and local requirements?
- What forms do you need to complete when hiring a new employee?
- Do offers of employment need to be done in writing?
- What should be included in an employee’s personnel file?
- If an employee asks to see their personnel file, are you obligated to show them?
- Where should medical information such as doctor’s notes, applications for health insurance and FMLA paperwork be kept?
- How long should personnel records be kept?
- An employer with at least one employee has to comply with 13 laws/regulations. Do you know what they are?
- You have noticed that several of your employees are not performing as well as they used to. You know that you need to address their productivity and set expectations. How do you conduct a performance review?
- A team of 15 close-knit customer service reps worked in a small room together. One day you get a visit from two of the reps during lunch hour. They’ve come to complain that their supervisor, who you recently moved to a cubicle on the floor near them, has terrible body odor. The employees want you to do something about it. How do you handle this situation?
- Can email messages be used as evidence in a deposition or trial? Do you have a electronic communications policy?
- What does “employment at will” mean?
- What should you do if you discover an employee is not authorized to work in the United States?
- What should be included in an exit interview?
- What is the minimum wage in my state? How do I get the required posters to display at the company?