Louis DiLorenzo

Q. One of our star employees wants to drive to an upcoming trade show instead of flying like everyone else. Can we insist that he must travel by air?

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Q. Our 40-employee company advertises for jobs internationally but we aren’t able to offer sponsorship to any candidate who is not legally able to work in the United States. I realize we can’t put “Prefer U.S. citizen” on a job ad, but can we alert candidates to our requirement?

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Q. Is it legal to pay a nonexempt employee to work at a company event at a lower hourly rate than what we typically pay her? The event is a conference where staff would be answering questions and giving out information.

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Q. An employee’s workday begins at a site location, which could be an hour or more from his home. There is no other “corporate office” location. It is my understanding that travel time to work (wherever that may be) is not compensable. Is that always true? What if that first work location is a long way from home?

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Q. As a church employer, is it legal for us to request an applicant to state his or her religious beliefs, or to require them to be of our beliefs?

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Q. We plan to start having supervisors listen in on trainees’ phone conversations with customers. Do we have to inform the caller that we’re listening? We think the “this call may be recorded” message makes the call less authentic?

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Q. We have to reduce salary wages by 20%. The plan is to reduce three of the five departments to 32 hours and adjust their wages accordingly. Is this legal?

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When an employee either complains internally about discrimination or goes to an outside agency like the EEOC to lodge a complaint, she has engaged in what’s called “protected activity.” She may not be right about the discrimination, but if her employer retaliated against her for complaining in the first place, she could win a large jury award anyway. You’ll want to avoid at all costs having to admit to any of these 10 things if you’re embroiled in a retaliation case.

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Q. We recently made a job offer to someone, rescinded the offer and then hired another applicant two months later. Is there anything illegal about that?

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It’s a mistake that’s all too common: An employer investigating harassment claims or other workplace infraction fails to act when the inquiry bumps up against a “he said/she said” wall. There are four factors critical to assessing witness credibility: demeanor, consistency, chronology, and past history and motivations.

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