BMD Editors

Q: “Is there merit to having employees sign their time cards? Is it important to have a certification that the hours shown represent an accurate accounting of time worked? Is there any type of liability if the employee simply uses an automated system of hand or card swipes and never ‘approves’ their time, either automatically in the computer timekeeping system like ADP or in writing on a printed timesheet? What might be the issue if this does not happen?” – Kary, Maryland

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Q: “One of our general managers in Oklahoma hired an individual to lift metal parts off a cutting table to place on pallets. We found out that the new hire is suing his former employee for an alleged back injury. Can we terminate the employee for not letting us know he had a back injury? He said that he was qualified to perform the work and has been lifting the parts for a week.” – Vincent, Louisiana

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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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