Q. We have to let an employee go because we are overstaffed. In the past, we have given one week of severance pay for every year of employment. We would like to start requiring those who accept severance to sign a waiver. Can we? Do we have to pay more?
Q. We are entering into a settlement agreement with a former employee with whom we have had lots of issues over 10 years. We want assurances that he will not come back with any further claims. Can a single release cover every type of legal claim?
Q. The minor child of one of our employees has a disability. She was approved to be his personal care attendant and requested FMLA leave to see if she would like to do this as a job going forward … I know FMLA is available to care for a child, but can she use FMLA as a way of trying out a new job?
Just because employers can compel arbitration doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. There are pros and cons to such agreements that employers should weigh carefully before committing to either approach.
Q. We run a courier service delivering time-sensitive documents around the Twin Cities by bicycle. Recently, an employee broke her leg while skiing. Now she is unable to perform her job as bicycle courier. Do we have to put her in a different job while her leg is in a cast?
Q. We sent a few employees to training over a weekend. They weren’t required to attend, but the course will help them do their jobs better. We paid the hourly workers for that time, but not overtime. Do we owe them overtime if they worked 40 hours before the training session?
Q. An employee recently complained that we have failed to accommodate his left-handedness. He argued that all our desks are constructed for right-handed people. To accommodate his left-handedness, he is requesting an expensive new piece of office furniture. Do we have to accommodate him?
Q. Many of our 60 employees fail to correctly clock in or out and it’s creating major payroll issues. I’ve met with employees who are chronic time-clock abusers and placed warnings in their files. Can we dock an employee for failing to clock in or out?
Q. In an effort to encourage our employees to make healthy lifestyle choices, we plan to offer an employee wellness program starting this summer. Is there anything we need to be careful about?
Q. As a small college, we employ quite a few adjunct instructors, especially for night classes. They work on a term-to-term contract for specific courses. One instructor got a very poor review and we’d like to ease him out. He’s making noises about age discrimination. If we don’t renew his contract but instead use a younger, fresh-out-of-grad-school instructor, could he have a case?