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Carl Crosby Lehmann

Q. An employee has been with us for less than a year, so she isn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave. Last month she missed five days because her child had a high fever. She used available PTO for the time off. Last week, she was no-call/no-show for three days. She told the supervisor she had been hospitalized because of pregnancy complications and didn’t have access to a phone and was sedated. She provided a doctor’s note that released her to return to work, but stated that she may need to be put on bed rest. The supervisor would like to terminate her because we can’t afford to continue employing someone so unreliable. Can we do this?

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Q. I understand that the rule requiring private employers to post a notice about employees’ union rights is dead and won’t become law. I may be considered a federal contractor and there is a provision in my contract about posting a notice of union-related rights. Am I free to ignore that?

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Q. Our company has been having financial difficulties and we have considered reorganizing for several months. Our chief operating officer has been charged with determining whether any of the current jobs can be eliminated. Recently, before any final reorganization decisions were made, an employee came forward claiming that the COO had been harassing her and had created a hostile work environment …

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Q. I work for a nonprofit organization. Several hourly employees of the organization volunteer during nonworking hours. Is that OK?

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Q. An employee requested an accommodation for a medical issue. We asked her to provide a note from her medical provider regarding the need for accommodation. She brought in a note but it’s unclear what the physician is trying to say. What should we do?

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Q. We currently have 15 employees, but several work part time. Are we required to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA or the MHRA?

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Q. We are thinking about implementing a no-fault attendance policy. We hope it will provide clearer absenteeism rules and make it easier for managers to enforce. Are there any downsides?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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