Michael Fox

Q. My company is selling a portion of the business that employs more than 100 workers. Do we have any special obligations to provide notice to these employees?

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Q. We are a small company with only 12 employees. We are under the impression that our employees do not have rights under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) since it applies to larger employers. Are we correct?

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Q. An exempt employee recently requested intermittent leave under the FMLA … FMLA leave at our company is unpaid. Can we deduct from the employee’s salary for absences of less than a day and still classify her as exempt? If so, how do we calculate how much FMLA time the employee is using?

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Q. We fired an employee for stealing company property. While we didn’t catch her red-handed, the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming and we felt comfortable letting her go. The employee filed an unemployment compensation claim that we contested, and now a hearing has been scheduled before an appeals referee. We would like to say at the hearing that the employee is a thief, but we’re afraid we’ll face a defamation claim because we can’t absolutely prove this charge. Would that be a well-founded concern?

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Q. A former employee has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against one of my company’s subsidiaries. The suit names both the subsidiary and us—the parent company—as the responsible employers. Isn’t this charge just the subsidiary’s problem and not ours?

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Q. We have had a hard time determining whether we must allow employees to miss work so they can vote? So this isn’t a problem in 2012, what rules must we follow?

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Q. We just received a letter from an employee who has requested a copy of our medical plan. Are we required to provide this information to her?

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Q. One of our employees filed a sexual harassment complaint against another worker. After interviewing both parties, we are unable to resolve the credibility conflict. We asked the accused co-worker to take a polygraph exam, but he refused. Can we fire the employee for refusing to take the lie detector test?

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Q. We have an employee returning from FMLA leave. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job because he wasn’t off work very long … Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?

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Q. Our company requires male employees to keep their hair short. However, a recent applicant has stated that his religion doesn’t allow him to cut his hair. Will requiring him to cut his hair to get the job violate federal law?

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