Louis DiLorenzo

Q. Some of our supervisors make their exempt employees take personal or sick leave for every minute they miss from work, even if they work a regular schedule the rest of the week. Can we safely do that?

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Q. Our company offers a health insurance opt-out incentive, paying employees $400 a month if they use their spouses’ insurance plans. We now have an employee going out on FMLA maternity leave. Do we have to keep paying her $400 per month?

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Q. Our company recently discovered some theft in our operation. We called an employee in for an investigative interview. He claimed to have consulted with an attorney and refused to answer our questions on the grounds that he could not be forced to incriminate himself under the Fifth Amendment. What are our choices?

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Q. Some of our supervisors make their exempt employees take personal or sick leave for every minute they miss from work, even if they work a regular schedule the rest of the week. Can we safely do that?

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A solid investigation is the cornerstone of any decision to discipline an employee. One of the most important and effective tools available in conducting an investigation is the investigatory interview. Here’s how to conduct one.

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Q. We are investigating a sexual harassment complaint. One of the employees accused of wrongdoing refuses to be interviewed without his lawyer. I know the attorney has no right to be there, but what are my options?

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Q. Recently, an employee left our company to join a competitor. When we took a look at his computer, we found deleted e-mails and files indicating he downloaded some valuable information about our customers. We suspect he transferred it to our competitor. He was an at-will employee and we had no employment agreement with him. Is there anything we can do about this?

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Q. I own my own business, and controlling my insurance costs is my biggest challenge. Recently, I learned one of my employees has been tested and has the genetic makeup likely to develop into a very serious illness. While I feel sorry for the employee, this disease is likely to cost our company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Can I fire the employee?

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As the economy shrinks, unemployment is growing in New York and throughout the country. If your organization plans to lay off workers or already has, brace yourself. Lots of former employees are going to list you and your managers as references when they seek new jobs. That means it’s time to make sure you have policies in place on how to handle reference-check calls.

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At first glance, the federal ADEA appears rather straightforward: It protects people age 40 and older from employment discrimination based on their age. But the law can affect just about anything managers do, from asking questions in job interviews to assigning job duties …

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