BMD Editors

Q. Our data entry employee has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. She has not submitted a workers’ comp claim but has advised us of her diagnosis. Are we required to file the claim even if she hasn’t?

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Q. Is it OK to ask members of our management team what their tentative retirement plans are so we can focus on having enough trained people ready to step up when vacancies occur? 

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Q. An employee lost weight and is having excess skin removed and a breast lift. There will be a surgery and recovery period. Is elective cosmetic surgery covered under a serious medical condition?

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Q. If we use independent contractors as drivers/couriers, can they use our company cars?

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Q. Are annual performance appraisals required for our part-time employees?  — Pamela, West Virginia

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Q. When should we be doing our background checks: Before an offer is made? After the offer is made and before employment? Or after employment has begun? We generally do the check after we make an offer and before employment starts. 

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Q. Do the individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) issued by the Department of the Treasury authorize an alien to work without any other documentation, such as an employment authorization? 

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Q. Our executive director wants to change an employee’s shift. The employee does not want the change. Can we force it? 

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Q. Our company policy states that we give one week of paid vacation after one year of employment and two weeks of vacation after two years. But some employees when hired have been given two weeks of paid vacation right away. Is this legal and proper? Also, are we required to pay for unused vacation time upon termination or resignation?

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Q. Is there any reason to keep old medical files on past employees? Usually the info in the medical files is whether they’ve had a TB test, typical paperwork on physicals, or return-to-work information after pregnancies or injuries.

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