Joseph Beachboard

Q. Sometimes our vendors provide modest gifts for our employees. How should we handle these?

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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. For quality-control purposes and to ensure that workers are not making personal telephone calls, we would like to tape-record the calls employees make on company phones. Would that be legal?

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Q. Should we require new employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement in order to protect our trade secrets, customer lists, etc.?

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Q. Many of our employees have children who will return to school this month. Are we required to grant these employees time off for school-related activities?

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Q. On the U.S. Department of Labor’s Form WH-381 (Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities), there is a line that asks if the worker is a “key employee” as defined in the FMLA. I don’t want to offend any of our employees, so I always check the “yes” box.  Am I doing the right thing?

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Q. We would like to administer personality tests to job applicants. Would this violate the ADA? A. Personality tests are a good example of the types of policies likely to be affected by the recently passed ADA Amendments Act of 2008 …

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Q. To prevent productivity and morale problems, we would like to adopt a policy stating the company will not hire the spouses of current employees. Would this be lawful?

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Q. We recently downsized our department. As a result, the additional workload has shifted to the employees who still have jobs. Can we force those employees to work overtime?

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Q. We closed our offices for a day because of a phoned-in bomb threat, and we sent all our employees home. Do we need to pay them for showing up to work that day?

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