BMD Editors

Look around your office: in the conference room, the reception area, the lunch room. You have enough chairs, but do you have any that can accommodate a person who’s morbidly obese (defined as weighing 100% or more over ideal body weight)?

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Crafting a powerful, engaging culture not only boosts hiring, but it also helps you keep the talent you already have.

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Q. Should a small business employee handbook include a safe-harbor clause under the benefits section for their 401k plan? In the past, the benefits information in the handbook has been limited because it can change so often. Instead, the handbook just points the employee to the summary plan documents.

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Q. Our employee handbook states that if employees are sick before and after a holiday and they do not get a doctor’s note, they will not get paid for those missed days. Is this legal?

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Q. Can we pay an employee minimum wage for a position that usually pays more? We have an applicant who doesn’t want to lose her pension benefits and can work for minimum wage yet still qualify to receive her pension. Should we have her make that request in writing?

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Q. Our payroll system automatically deducts 30 minutes per day from drivers for lunch since they are on the road and away from a computer. I have concerns about liability. Should we make this deduction?

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Interviewing need not be tricky—but it does need to reveal character.

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Q. A new employee just told us she has a seizure disorder. Our facility works with vulnerable adults and the new employee would be required to drive them. This poses a risk potential for the client’s safety. Can we terminate this person or do we need to figure out an accommodation? The employee hasn’t asked for any yet.

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Q. An employee driving a backhoe backed into a wall and tore the door off. We had to install a new door ($275), but the employee quit that same week. So we deducted $275 from his last check. Now he says he’s talking to a lawyer. Were we right?

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Q. Our small business sometimes gets calls from loan providers or collection agencies about our em­ployees. What information are we required to give?

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