Louis DiLorenzo

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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The Wage Theft Prevention Act, a law designed to end what workers’ rights advocates term “wage theft,” takes effect April 12, but the time to plan is now. The new law has teeth. It expands the New York Department of Labor’s enforcement powers, and as much as quadruples penalties on employers that violate the law.

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Leandra’s Law (the Child Passenger Protection Act) requires anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated in New York to install and maintain an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he or she owns or operates. That’s a condition of the person’s probation or conditional discharge. Leandra’s Law has several important provisions that apply to employers of people who have been convicted of DWI.

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Terminating employees is never easy. Not only do you have to think about the employee’s reaction and those of co-workers who may be worried about their own jobs, you also have to worry whether the employee will sue and how to minimize the risk. One area you have control over is making sure that every terminated employee receives legally mandated termination notices. Here’s a quick guide.

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