Ask Entrepreneur - Human Resources

Do I have to pay an employee who quit without notice?

A friend worked a week or so for me and had no employee contract, signed no application or any documents. He was paid in cash for his time. One day he left in the middle of the day and sent a text message saying he was done. Through his actions, he cost me much more than I would owe him. Do I have to pay?
Nina Kaufman

How can I improve my interview skills with HR?

I just was rejected for a position for which I was eminently qualified. I could not imagine that many others could surpass me. I've spoken to people who manage to get hired five times in a year, but are demonstrably poor employees.
Brad Sugars

I pay my employees for the holiday, but do I have to pay them for the day after the holiday if we are closed?

Currently all of my employees are hourly, and they get paid straight time for any holiday. This year, Christmas and New Year are on Thursdays, and our office is choosing to be closed on Friday. Do I have to pay them for Friday? My business is in the medical industry. I have only been open a year in the medical field and I feel that I treat my staff very well. But when Thanksgiving came up and I paid for the holiday day only, the office staff were upset that they didn't get paid for Friday.
Elinor Robin

As a salaried employee, am I obligated to start working weekends and holidays with no comp time?

I am a salaried employee who works more than 40 hours per week. My employer recently said they will be requiring me to work holidays and/or weekends and they will not be giving comp time or any other type of extra compensation. In fact, when I asked about it they told me that since I am salaried they can require me to work as many hours as they want to without any additional compensation. Is this legal?
Penny Morey

Can I ask for details regarding an employee's note from a doctor?

We have several employees (one in particular) with chronic attendance issues. They all return with a doctor's note (per our employee policy) after an absence of three consecutive days. The doctor's note is a one line, vague statement.
Penny Morey

By law, is an employee whose position was altered due to an injury required to be returned to his original position when he recovers?

The non-union employee had herniated disks in his back and could not perform all of his job duties as a delivery driver.

When the employee was injured we moved him to a position with lower pay and less responsibility. Now that he has recovered, are we legally obligated to give him his original job back?
Penny Morey

We're software developers. We've just hired a contractor at a generous hourly rate. He wants paid lunches.

We want to be fair and reasonable. We don't want to be taken advantage of. It sounds like he wants the benefits of being a full employee. It doesn't feel like a contractor should be asking for that.
Penny Morey

Do you have the right to ask a manager to give you a reason for calling you in to have a private meeting?

An assistant manager told me to be in my manager's office on a certain day and time. This individual also told me that the workday I picked up from someone else will be covered by another person. I have asked whether there is a reason my days have been cut and why the day I picked up from someone was taken away, but the only thing I was told is to meet with the manger on the set day and time. Human resources told me the same thing. Am I in the right for requesting an answer before the meeting, since my day of work was taken away from me?
Penny Morey

Am I legally bound to give employees an annual review?

By law, is it essential to give an employee an annual review even if the company isn't doing so well?
Penny Morey

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

I am a waiter in Texas and work at least a 6-hour shift at a time. My employer allows others to take frequent smoke breaks but harasses me every time I bring in a snack to eat when time allows. Other waiters have also been caught eating but nothing is said to them. I have been ordered to bring in a doctor's note stating that I am hypoglycemic. I get weak and shaky when I do not have a few snaccks in the day and this problem runs in my family. However, I do not have insurance and the blood tests for an exact diagnosis are expensive. My boss harasses me every day for the note and has even written me up for eating.
Penny Morey

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

I work for a privately owned company. The owner is allergic to confrontation and mostly allows employees to govern themselves. My boss is his girlfriend, but she's not all that professional and well-versed on office protocol.

I had a problem with a manager in another department, so I went to my boss for help. She told me to ignore the other manager and dismissed it. My boss and the other manager don't care for one another, and sometimes I get caught in the middle of their fights. I have lingering issues with the manager in the other department because she's rude and disrespectful. She also sends cutting e-mails. We dont have an HR person. How do we protect ourselves from these issues when no one steps up to speak on the employees' behalf?
Penny Morey

We need medical benefits for a family of three.

My wife opted to leave her job after giving birth to our first child. Her job provided our medical benefits, as I operate a single-person consultancy. Before we have to move to COBRA, what are our best options?

My wife and I are each 37 and our son is 3 months old. We live in New York City.
Penny Morey

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

Business goes a lot better when the owner works inside the company. It's hard to find the right manager and staff for an interstate niche business. We've experienced poor performance, job hopping, conflict of interest and other problems. As a result, we've decided to offer company shares plus base and commission to managers and staff to overcome "the will and skill" issues. Is that a good idea?
Brad Sugars