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BMD Editors

In a recent poll, adults were asked which of these statements they agreed with more: “Most people who want to get ahead can make it if they’re willing to work hard” or “Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people”?

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Innovation isn’t about randomly tossing new products into the marketplace and seeing what sticks. The key is to first understand market needs and then develop solutions to meet them.

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Q. An exempt employee ran out of PTO at the end of 2013. I was led to believe we could dock any hours the employee took off for personal time after using all PTO. (Our policy says employees who are out of PTO can be granted personal time off without pay.) Did we handle this correctly? 

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Many of your employees may occasionally have to deal with customers. Here’s a primer to help them understand what it takes to not only hang on to customers, but leave them with a positive impression of your business.

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Q. Are there any laws that prohibit offering a new job description with a lower wage in place of a layoff?

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Q. We recently installed cameras in our plant’s production areas. The cameras aren’t hidden, and it is common knowledge they were installed. Do I need to post something notifying employees and visitors that the area is under video surveillance? Should I have employees sign something? 

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Q. We just updated our policy manual and are asking employees to sign a standard acknowledgment of receipt form. If an employee refuses to sign it, is that grounds for termination? Or should we just document that they refused to sign? 

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Q. Are we required to offer holiday pay to employees who are within their 90-day probationary period? Or can we start paying extra for holiday work only after the probationary period is complete?

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Q. After an employee quit, he failed to return certain company property (badge, access card, etc.). Can we legally withhold his PTO balance because of this? 

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Q. We advertised for a front-desk receptionist opening and got 44 applications. Three were from men, all qualified. We’ve always had a female in that job and would like to keep it that way. We plan to interview five finalists. Must we include one of the men to avoid sex discrimination charges?

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