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Joseph Beachboard

Q. With the upcoming presidential election, our employees have spent more time talking politics and debating candidates and their positions. Do we have an obligation to limit or prevent such conversations in the workplace? …

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Q. We suspect that one of our employees is a victim of domestic violence. What are the leave requirements for domestic violence under California law? …

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Q. I understand that many companies offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) as an added benefit for employees who may have drug or alcohol abuse problems. Are we required by law to do so? …

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On May 27, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court further expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation—an area of employment law that has exploded in recent years. Specifically, the court held that a federal statute enacted shortly after the Civil War, granting all citizens the right to enter into and enforce contracts (commonly referred to as Section 1981), can be used to bring a claim of employment-related retaliation …

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Q. One of our employees is on pregnancy disability leave. We are a small company and it will be difficult for us to keep her position open. May we hire another worker to replace her based on this hardship? …

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Q. Our company recently terminated an exempt employee midway through a workweek. Given the requirement in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that exempt employees be paid on a salary basis, I was wondering whether we are required to pay the employee for the entire week …

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Q. What are employers’ obligations under the new law requiring drivers to use hands-free cell phones? …

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Q. One of our employees has a boyfriend who has threatened her with physical violence. What steps, if any, should we take to protect the employee in the workplace? …

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Q. Our HR department is using I-9 forms from several years ago. At what point should we use the new revised form issued by the federal government? …

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Q. We recently learned that a new law was passed allowing the spouses of military personnel to take unpaid leave. Is this true? …

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