Ask Entrepreneur - Human Resources

What does "The waiting period is 30 days for all insurance plans" refer to?

I recently received a job offer--my first out of college--and I'm a bit confused by some of the wording. Does this mean I will be provided insurance benefits in 30 days?

Should I offer our younger, healthier employees a higher salary since they don't utilize their healthcare benefits too much?

Our company pays a percentage of employee health insurance. In effect, depending on age and health, this benefit expense can be more valuable to different employees that do the same work.

Can not smoking be a condition for employment?

I'm opening a retail store and do not want to hire anyone who smokes given the smell could get on the clothing in inventory.

Can I cover a subcontractor on my company's workers comp insurance?

I'm planning to hire temporary help on a 1099 subcontractor basis.

What should I know about terminating an employee due to medical problems?

I have an employee of 14 years who is losing her eyesight due to diabetes. She has missed a lot of work and it's affecting her ability to do her job. We have ethical and legal questions regarding her termination.

Is it legal to fire one employee but not another for the same breech of company policy?

Our company policy is to not hire smokers. On our job application the question is asked. Several employees that checked "no" on the application and later found to be smokers have all been fired--except one.

What should I do if I paid for an employee's eduction course and he quit soon after?

The employee quit two months after his course was complete. Can I deduct the cost of the course from his final paycheck?

How do you know it's the right time to hire your first employee?

My husband started our business five years ago. I came on board a couple years ago to assist with office administration. We're doing fine, supporting just the two of us--but we would like to see this grow into something more.

How can I motivate my employees?

What are different, creative ways to motivate your employees to do better?

Can I confront an employee about interviewing for another job?

My employee interviewed for a job at another office. A friend of mine that works in that office recognized her and contacted me. Can I confront my employee or will that put my friend and her office in jeopardy?

How do you handle an employee who posted a potentially threatening comment on a social media site?

The comment was about another employee and made via a cell phone. We don't have a policy in place or an HR department. I recently gave the employee a raise before this all took place. Our office is very lax.

Is HR allowed to ask me what was discussed during an unpaid break?

Is this a good management practice? I feel like it's going to create conflict in the workplace. How can we overcome this?

Are employees required to clock-out when going to doctors' appointments?

I was going to a followup doctor's visit for an on-the-job injury. Should I be paid for that time?

If an employee quits unexpectedly, can he be denied unemployment benefits?

One of my employees recently walked off the job without any explanation.

Is a sick employee eligible for unemployment while he gets treatment?

I have a valued employee who was recently diagnosed with cancer. He will be out for about 8 weeks. We're located in Louisiana and plan to rehire him when he is able.