Michael Fox

Q. A few of my employees have been summoned to appear in court for jury duty service and to act as witnesses in trials. Is there any way that I can prohibit them from serving? And if I can’t, am I required to pay them during their service?

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Q. The company that I own has been in business since 1930. We recently performed an assessment of positions and salaries and discovered that our male executives are paid higher salaries than female counterparts. Are we liable for any unfair business practices?

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Q. As the owner of a Texas company, I want to institute a policy that strictly forbids employees from bringing guns to work—both into the office building and in the parking lot outside. Can I legally draft such a policy?

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Q. I am the owner of several industrial facilities, but recent financial crises have forced me to have to shut down two of these plants. These closings and subsequent layoffs will affect about 600 employees. Am I re­­quired to notify the employees before laying them off?

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Q. An employee recently filed suit claiming race discrimination. What kinds of damages can he sue for, and what compensation could he receive?

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Q. Jim has been a security guard for my company for over 20 years, and has always performed his duties without problem. Since his 60th birthday a few years ago, however, Jim has become steadily less able to walk the required distances during his rounds, and has also been forgetting crucial requirements of his position. Am I allowed to discharge him?

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Q. The vice president of my company, whom I appointed, is really a nice guy, but he has propositioned many of the female employees on multiple occasions for sexual acts in his office. He has a great attitude towards the female employees who agree, but those who refuse have been recently discharged without my consent. Is this sexual harassment?

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Q. Our company is going to lay off several employees. Are we required to provide severance pay to those employees? If we provide severance pay, can we demand that employees sign a severance agreement stating that they will not sue the company?

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Q. Our company is planning to move an executive from one our overseas divisions to head an important short-term project here in the United States. What type of visa will he need? Any immigration basics you can provide would be helpful.

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Q. We heard that the president recently took action on whether employees are permitted to discuss compensation. Are there any new requirements on employers with regard to these kinds of conversations?

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