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BMD Editors

Filling a vacant position—especially for the second or third time—can take away from other important tasks. Here’s how to get hiring right from the beginning.

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Many of your patterns and habits aren’t helping you become more efficient or successful. Here are tips on thriving in a to-do list-dominated world.

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If you want your office recycling program to be more than an afterthought, you’ll need to inject some organization into it.

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If you’re looking to boost productivity in your workplace, think of the paint you’re splashing on the walls. Yes, color can profoundly affect your behavior.

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Q. A long-term employee has been working part time for a year due to double knee replacement surgery. She takes painkillers, but not during work hours. Recently, she’s displayed poor judgment, doesn’t concentrate well and sometimes shakes all over. We’re concerned she may be addicted to the painkillers. We reassigned her to a job that carries less risk. What can we legally do to address this?

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Q. We are relocating to another state. While several employees will not be given relocation packages, I do plan to give them severance packages. Is it legal to require them to stay to a certain date in order to receive the severance?

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Q. What are the employer’s rights in contacting employees during their FMLA leave? Can we ask how they are doing? Can we expect they will stay at home recuperating in accordance with the doctor’s direction?

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Q. Our employees recently voted for a union and we are now negotiating. Our policies say full-time em­­ployee status starts at 30 hours per week. All of our full-time employees currently work 40 hours per week. We want to decrease the hours of some employees (about 25% of them) from eight to six per day. Do we have to bargain with the union on this change or can we just notify them? 

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Q. We let a female cashier at our restaurant wear a religious head covering, despite our policy against hats. Now, a male employee has started wearing a camouflage cap, claiming his religious idol is Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty.” He says his “religion” is sincere. Can we tell him to remove the cap?

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Q. Is it lawful to ask about a person’s driving record (accidents and violations) on the job application?

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