Carl Crosby Lehmann

Q. Sometimes we hold important meetings at lunch and provide food. An employee then takes her lunch hour after. Can we tell her she can’t do that?

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Q. We have an employee who just developed a disability that will keep him from performing his job for an unknown time. After he uses up his FMLA and other accumulated leave, do we have an obligation to look for another position for him?

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Q. We give employees who opt out of our health plan a bonus. Do we withhold federal taxes on that bonus?

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Q. Our company is owned by a foreign parent company. A former employee who was discharged last year recently filed a suit against us and our parent, claiming age discrimination in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Will the court dismiss our parent company from the lawsuit?

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Q. We are considering laying off approximately 20 of our 83 employees. If we move forward with this plan, is there any requirement that we provide advance notice to the employees who will be subjected to layoff?

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Q. Our bonus plan states that employees eligible to receive bonus pay will receive bonus advances with each paycheck based on year-to-date performance results. Last year, we were on track to meet the maximum bonus throughout most of the year, but the last few months of the year were slow and we didn’t meet our target goal. As a result, we deducted certain amounts from the last few paychecks of salaried employees. Do these deductions threaten the exempt status of the salaried employees?

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Q. One of our full-time hourly employees has started a cleaning business on the side. We pay her a set amount for cleaning the offices on the weekend. Since this is an entirely different position, can we pay her as a 1099 independent contractor for the cleaning work if she’s also a full-time employee?

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Q. We employ a husband/wife team to clean our office. We pay them on a monthly contract basis and provide a Form 1099 at year-end. Would we be liable for an injury they might suffer while cleaning?

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Q. We have two employees who have the same job title, job description and functions. We pay one a flat salary ($120,000). We pay the other a base salary plus a fixed rate for hours that are billable to the customer ($70,000, plus $20 for every billable hour). Can we do this or should their salary structures be identical?

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Q. Our company’s mailroom routinely opens all mail before distributing it. Some employees say they sometimes get personal mail delivered to them at the office, and the company has no right to open it. Should we change our mailroom practices?

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