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BMD Editors

Does your workplace have one large bulletin board in the break room? Perhaps the note asking “If anyone found a pair of sunglasses, please return them to Deb in accounting” is partially obscuring the required Federal Minimum Wage poster. A covered-up poster is like having no poster at all, and that could lead to citations and fines.

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Leading your team through the illness of one member is one of the greatest tests you’ll face. Keep these tips in mind.

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Q. I have a COBRA participant who is nearing the end of his 36-month maximum coverage period. What notices must I send him regarding coverage termination?

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Q. An employee uses his own smartphone to access company email and conduct work from home. The work is on his own initiative—it’s not required, but we’re aware of it. Are we obligated to pay any portion of his monthly bill?

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Q. Do we need a signed waiver before we post pictures of our staff on our website, Facebook page or other Web-based media?  

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Q. A young employee comes to work often with visible bruises. Last week she had a black eye. She always has a ready excuse. Her husband calls her frequently, sometimes 10 times a day. Several staff have come to me voicing concern that she may be getting abused. Her accuracy level is decreasing and she’s starting to miss work more often. Can I legally approach her and offer resources for battered women?

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Q. We offer home health care services. Sometimes clients request a certain caregiver in respect to color, age, gender, etc. Is it legal to place an ad with a specific request from our client, such as “seeking Caucasian female between ages 40-50 to help care for adult female”? 

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Q. Two employees got into a fight while on their lunch break. They were playing soccer in an open lot off premises and wearing their company uniforms. The vice president reacted by banning employees from playing any sports during their lunch break—on the premises or off … Can the VP dictate what employees can do on unpaid time?

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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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