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Most Recent Questions in Human Resources

Question added to topic Human ResourcesOctober 5, 2008

Is an employer allowed to ask for my Social Security number before an interview?

Yes, it is permissible to require Social Security numbers prior to an interview (e.g., on the job application form), but some states are considering or have enacted measures to limit or even... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 29, 2008

We need medical benefits for a family of three.

There are a number of carriers who are writing medical coverage for people not covered by their employers or who are seeking coverage options for other reasons. Some that come to mind are... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 24, 2008

How can we capture our managers' heart and soul in our remote business?

No, it's not a great idea--and here’s why. What you are doing is giving away dollars to overcome a lack of systems and an absence of company culture in your business. First, you should find... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 19, 2008

The company that hired me as an independent contractor didn't get paid. Should I expect payment?

You have exactly the right perspective on this situation. I trust that you have a written contract that defines what and when you are paid. (For example, $30 per hour payable weekly.) Some... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 12, 2008

Am I protected if I want to place a political candidate's bumper sticker in my cubicle at a nonprofit?

Not necessarily. The free speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people from government regulation of their speech. The same rules don’t necessarily apply in the... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 12, 2008

I have an employee who is up for review and wants to have a non-employee witness, such as a spouse or friend. Am I legally obligated to allow this?

Unless you have a union contract specifying that this is required, the answer is no; you do not have to allow this. However, seeing as how this person sounds like a potentially problematic type... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 11, 2008

Does my employer have the right to know what I do when I am clocked out?

It seems strange if you were the one who reported this past employee's pilfering that they would still see you as potentially untrustworthy. Not very sensible of them if this is true. Are you sure... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesSeptember 9, 2008

My company refuses to pay for time worked during lunch.

If you punch a time clock, I am assuming that you are a nonexempt employee. That means the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws also apply to you. Therefore, you are... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesAugust 26, 2008

Can we choose to hire a younger person for a bartending position?

Unless your union contract states differently (e.g., promotions must be based on seniority), you can select anyone you like for any job for which you feel he or she is qualified. However, you... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesAugust 18, 2008

How do I know if my employee is doing more harm than good? She brings in business and revenue but her attitude is creating a chaotic work environment.

If an employee is driving you and your partners nuts (and your sanity is important to the overall success of the business), you have probably answered your own question--intellectually, that is. On... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesAugust 8, 2008

Can I amortize the cost of performance bond insurance?

Normally the way we would handle insurance payments for longer then one month is that we would classify it as an asset of prepaid insurance. Then transfer it to insurance expense each month for the... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 25, 2008

Can I request and receive all information in my employee file?

Yes. It is well within your rights to see your entire set of employee records. Of course, it is still best to make the request politely. Most organizations will let you make an appointment to... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 18, 2008

How does one deal with a stepson in the family business who is dating an employee?

This is not an atypical situation when family members work together. It is human nature for offspring and other relatives of the owner or higher-level management to receive preferential treatment... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 18, 2008

Where can we find a health plan for an independent worker who will be working in China?

Well, first of all, it is not precisely clear to me whether you are going to "hire" this person as a consultant or if, in fact, he will be a W-9 (1099) independent consultant providing... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 15, 2008

Should I reimburse virtual employees for mileage to the main office?

Employers are not legally required to reimburse regular mileage for commuting to and from work--unless the employer has a contract in place stating otherwise. So, this is a judgment call. With... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 11, 2008

How do I advertise employment for 18-to-23-year-olds without discriminating?

In limited situations, discrimination based on age, sex or some other protected factor is permissible if the employer can demonstrate a truly compelling reason to discriminate. For example, a... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 2, 2008

How do we encourage retirement for a "Peter Principle" employee?

Not knowing more about your company and its track record in this kind of situation, how many more of these kinds of situations you may have to face in the coming months or years, or what kind of... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJuly 2, 2008

Do I have to pay an employee who quit without notice for days worked previously?

Unfortunately, you do owe him for all the hours he worked. It may not seem fair, but it's the law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees are entitled to be paid for all hours... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJune 22, 2008

What are the options for paying part-time employees when there is no set schedule/hours week to week?

There is no maximum limit on how much you pay using a "spot pay" system, but you do have to be sure you are not shortchanging the employee for hours actually worked.  That is, if the... (more)
Question added to topic Human ResourcesJune 18, 2008

What interview tips could you offer for a customer service position where heavy interaction with the customer is required?

Face-to-face interviewing is the most time-consuming aspect of hiring. So using a process that results in face-to-face interviewing of only the few "best of the best" applicants makes... (more)
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