Joseph Beachboard

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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Q. We have always paid our waiters less than the minimum wage because of the tips they earn. Are we permitted to count tips as part of the minimum wage as long as we notify our employees of this practice and their actual tips equal or exceed the tip credit?

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Q. We are a small company. Two of our employees in the same department have asked to take vacation at the same time. We’re afraid that we will be short-staffed if both employees are out at the same time. Can we institute a policy preventing employees from being out simultaneously?

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Q. We are a small company. Two of our employees in the same department have asked to take vacation at the same time. We’re afraid that we will be short-staffed if both employees are out at the same time. Can we institute a policy preventing employees from being out simultaneously?

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Q. Due to the economy, we are considering shutting down our business. Are we required to give advanced notice to our employees?

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