Joseph Beachboard

Q. We had to close down our business because of the damage caused by a natural disaster. Are our employees entitled to unemployment benefits?

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Q. We would like to throw a Halloween party for our employees during working hours. Many want to wear costumes. Should we have a costume dress code? We are worried some employees may go too far.

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Q. We plan to lay off some of our employees and offer jobs to others in our facility in another state. We are also giving a select few of our employees the option to work from home. One of the employees to whom we gave this telecommuting option has declined it and requested severance instead. Are we obligated to pay him severance?

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Q. Does California’s reporting-time pay law apply to workers who report to work but appear to be unable or unfit to work?

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Q. I know that the laws on overnight travel time are more restrictive in California than under federal law. Does the overnight travel rule under federal law apply in California or does an employer have to pay all travel time even if overnight travel is involved?

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Q. Is it true that the California state minimum wage is increasing soon?

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Q. We would like to require employees to pay for their own uniforms. Is this legal? If not, we would like to require employees to purchase uniforms. Then we would reimburse them. Is that OK, or must we purchase the uniforms and provide them to the employees?

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Q. One of our employees has requested permission to bring her therapy dog to work every day. Are we required to allow her to do this?

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Q. We are a small company and have seven employees. One of our employees recently went out on a leave of absence for pregnancy. During that time, we hired a replacement worker to do the same job. The replacement only worked part time, but was still able to complete work that our employee did full time. When our employee returns to work, we would like to change her job status from full time to part time. Is this legal?

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Q. A while ago two of our employees developed a romantic relationship. They are now expecting a baby and both workers put in a request for family leave to bond with their newborn. Are we required to give both workers leave for the birth of their child—even if they are not married?

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