Ask Entrepreneur

How do I handle a child who has separate primary and secondary insurance companies?

A child is being covered by two insurance companies -- primary coverage by dad, secondary by mom. The insurance companies will not process claims due to lack of information, as dad isn't cooperating. This is leaving the secondary mom left holding the bill. What are my options?
Penny Morey

Can I ask a new employee's previous employer the reason of separation?

I want to know why a potential employee left his previous job.
Penny Morey

If you lay-off someone who is on disability do you have to lay-off everyone on disability?

I was laid off from my job at a large law firm last week, the reason being that they had no position for me to return to. I was on disability at the time, which I had to extend a couple of times due to an ongoing and difficult skin condition. I have heard that others who were also on disability were not laid off.
Penny Morey

How can I keep good talent when business is low?

Our catering business has lows and highs in sales. How do I hang on to good talent when business is off?
Elinor Robin

How soon can we hire a new employee to replace one that we laid off?

We have laid off some employees in the last two months. By April or May we would like to hire again. Can we hire new employees and, if so, how long do we have to wait?
Penny Morey

Are there laws to help a self-employed woman take maternity leave?

I am self-employed and pay quarterly taxes. My clients give me W-2 forms. I just found out I'm pregnant and would like to take some time off when I have the baby. Are there any laws that help sef-employed pregnat women who want to take maternity leave?
Nina Kaufman

Should I tell my employer about my part-time business?

I have started a part-time mobile DJ business on weekends. Is it a good idea to tell my full-time employer about my business or can I keep it from him?
Elinor Robin

Can I ask health-related questions during an interview?

We hire seasonal workers to do manual labor. Are there questions that can/cannot be asked at the time of hire regarding previous health-related issues that might hamper their doing this job (i.e. back injury, hernias)?
Penny Morey

How can I motivate my employees?

I have both part- and full-time employees. Are there different ways to motivate these different level of staffers?
Elinor Robin

Can I pay an employee a monthly medical reimbursement?

If I don't offer group health coverage to my employees, can I pay a monthly medical reimbursement as an expense on an employee-by-employee basis? This would work similar to a car allowance.
Penny Morey

Can I withhold a final check from an employee who quit with no notice?

An employee quit on me without notice. Can I decline giving him his last pay check?
Penny Morey

Can I require my employees to pay back training costs if they leave before a specified timeframe?

We have a two-week training program, which is costly to us. We have had employees go through the training program and leave us after a couple of months. Is there anything we can do to protect ourselves from this?
Penny Morey

How do I choose the best health insurance provider for a company of 50 employees?

We currently have a health plan in place with a POS. We are trying to look for better offers in the market. Where can I go to research this?
Penny Morey

Can HR give out information about an employee's insurance coverage to another employee?

If an employee asks for a colleague’s health insurance information, is the company’s HR department allowed to give out that sort of information?
Penny Morey

Is an employer required to give full-time employees paid time off?

Do I have to give a full-time employee paid vacation or paid sick time benefits?
Penny Morey