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Louis DiLorenzo

Q. One of the owners suggested that paid time off for employees should not be a set benefit, but a bonus. Can we just award paid time off as a bonus to some employees and not to others?

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Q. Are minor problems like urinary tract infections considered “serious health conditions” under the FMLA? Do we have to allow time off?

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Q. We have a pregnant employee. She needs to take time off for medical appointments and perhaps complications. She then wants to take FMLA leave for birth and bonding. Should we require two separate medical certifications? And should we count all the medical appointments related to pregnancy against her 12 weeks of FMLA leave?

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Q. We send out a condolence card when one of our em­­ployees has a death in the family. We usually say something like, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.” Now one of our employees has complained about the use of the word “prayer.” Do we need to change the message?

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Q. Someone suggested that a good way to screen applicants is to require them to leave a recorded message explaining why they are qualified for the position. Is this legally OK?

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Q. We have a very overweight employee who wants to have a weight-reduction surgery. This will be expensive and she may be off work for up to six weeks. Do we have to grant her FMLA leave for that time?

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Q. We have several temporary positions we must fill. A disabled applicant is qualified and we want to hire him but are worried we won’t be able to terminate him after the position ends. Are there any rules that require us to retain him?

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Q. We just terminated an employee for testing positive for PCP. Now the former employee wants a copy of our drug-testing policy. Do I have to provide it?

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Q. We have an employee who was approved for intermittent FMLA leave. Can we request that she provide us with a note from her doctor each time she misses work? Or do we have to trust her when she says she had a “flare-up” and couldn’t work?

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Today, nursing mothers have options protected by both federal and state laws. New York is at the forefront of the movement to allow mothers to feed their children nothing but breast milk up to the recommended six months.

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