Joseph Beachboard

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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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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Q. Currently, we require each individual employee to fill out his or her own time sheet. But we’re considering a new format that lists all employees on one time sheet. Is this legal? Or should each employee’s time sheet be kept confidential?

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Q. When we make changes to our medical plan, how long do we have to get the new summary plan out to employees?

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Q. A resigning employee gave us two weeks’ notice, but we decided to terminate the employee right away instead. Are we obligated to pay the person for those two weeks he gave notice for?

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Q. Our company’s employee handbook states that workers receive two weeks of paid vacation a year. Some of our employees have accrued significant amounts of unused vacation over the years. Can we require those workers to use their accrued vacation by a certain date or forfeit it?

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On May 11, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will begin issuing a redesigned Permanent Resident Card, commonly referred to as the “green card.” Employers should familiarize themselves with the new card by visiting the USCIS web site, as they will soon be seeing the new card presented when employees complete required Form I-9.

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