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Most Recent Questions in Human Resources

Can an employer require a doctor's note with a diagnosis on it?

An employer can require a doctor's note with a diagnosis if there is a good business reason for doing so. Are there written rules concerning breaks for smoking or eating concerning frequency and/or... (more)

We don't have an HR professional in our office and we really should. Can you advise on these issues?

You are literally between a rock and a hard place. Even if you had an HR professional on board, if the owner of the company does not care to deal with controversy or other matters that might... (more)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)
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