Joseph Beachboard — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 15
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Joseph Beachboard

Q. We want to fire a bad worker, and we don’t want to take an unemployment comp hit. Under California law, when can a terminated worker be denied unemployment benefits?

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Q. My company has a “use it or lose it” vacation policy. Is it lawful for employees who have not taken their vacations at the end of the calendar year to lose them if we have given our employees advance notice of our policy?

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Q. We have two employees who regularly fail to turn in their time cards on a timely basis. Can we hold off on paying them until they submit their time cards? Can we delay payment until the next pay period?

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Q. On the U.S. Department of Labor’s Form WH-381 “Employer’s Response to Employee,” there is a line that asks whether the worker is a “key employee” as described in the FMLA regulations. I always check the box indicating that the worker is a key employee. How should I mark these boxes? I consider most of our workers key employees, and I do not want to offend anyone by suggesting that they are not.

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Q. To prevent productivity and morale problems, we would like to adopt a policy banning the hiring of our current employees’ spouses. Would this be lawful?

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Q. Many of our employees spend most of their time dealing with customers over the phone. For quality control purposes and to make sure workers aren’t making personal telephone calls, we would like to record the calls employees make on company telephones. Is that legal?

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Q. If an employee resigns and gives two weeks’ notice, can we tell him he isn’t needed for the two weeks and avoid paying him for that time?

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Q. We have an employee returning from a leave taken under the federal FMLA and the California Family Rights Act. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job … Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?

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Q. I recently discovered that an employee who handles my company’s accounts receivable has filed for bankruptcy. Can I discharge this employee?

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Q. We are considering providing an enhanced severance package to a group of employees if they agree to waive all potential claims against the company, including age discrimination claims. Are there any specific steps we need to take in connection with these releases?

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