John Wilcox, Moderator

Question: “We have a dress code policy that our managers are responsible for
enforcing. But not all of them do, and now the president is asking me
why these people aren’t dressed appropriately. Does your company have a
dress code? How do you enforce it?”—Sandy, Wisc.

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Question: Tricky situation here: We have a great supervisor with a wonderful
track record and excellent evaluations. But recently he missed some
clear warning signs that a female employee felt she was having to
endure a hostile work environment. Some of her male co-workers’
comments could definitely be construed as offensive. Leaving aside
whether or not we are going to get sued, how should I go about
disciplining the supervisor?—Michael B., North Carolina

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Question: “We have a few exempt employees who consistently arrive late to work.
They get their work done, but their erratic schedules inconvenience
other employees. Is this a counseling issue? What’s the best way to
have that conversation? Or do we need to crack the whip and institute a
formal attendance policy? If so, does anyone have some language I can
borrow?”—Amy, Philadelphia

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Question: “I am trying to calculate our employee retention and turnover rate. I
understand that these are two different things relating to: 1) how many
employees we have, and 2) how many employees we lose, keep and hire.
Does anyone have the equations for figuring out these two rates?”—Katie, Louisiana

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Question: “We’re going to be incredibly busy this summer, and I’m already worried
about employees’ vacations interfering with our delivery schedules. I
want a system for employees to submit their summer vacation requests
now. I hope that will let us make realistic staffing plans. But I know
some staff are going to complain, and I’m worried that I’ll eventually
have to disapprove some leave requests. What’s a fair way to handle
this?” — Steve, IL

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Question: “We’ve
always been pretty informal about how we deal with comp time for exempt
employees. Naturally, a couple of people have started abusing it,
requesting time off every time they have to work at home at night or
come in on a weekend. I’d like to develop a real policy to control how
comp time is accrued and how it is granted. Any suggestions on how to
do this?”—Callie, VA

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Question: “We’re updating our employee handbook. Does anyone have advice on
setting a policy regulating employees’ personal use of our electronic
equipment and resources, such as PCs and the Internet?”—David, NY

(Feel free to post policy language if it’s relatively brief. Web
links to your handbook are welcome too—if your own policies permit it.)

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Question: “We’re looking to expand the reach of our recruiting efforts, so I’m
considering using some of the larger online services such as Monster,
Hotjobs and Careerbuilder. However, I’m worried that we’ll be buried in
e-mailed resumés and applications from every unemployed person out
there. Does anyone have experience (as an employer) using these
services? What tips can you offer to make them as productive as
possible?”—PT, Tucson

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Question: “With gas prices over $3 per gallon, we’re hearing grumbling from our
road warriors that they need a higher per-mile reimbursement rate.
We’re already above the IRS guidance. What are other organizations
doing to cope with the rising price of gas?”—Trey, SLC

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Question: “Long story short: Husband and wife both work for our company. Husband
accepts another job out of state because we are downsizing. Wife
continues to work for us until they can sell their home here. Then
she’ll join her husband there. Fast forward: Manager hires a
replacement for the wife. She’ll have a job until the end of March
2008, but she’s nonetheless furious. Why? She never resigned! No
letter, no final date, nothing. I’m pretty sure we messed this one up.
How should we have handled it?”—ST, Florida

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