Michael Fox

Q. I am a manager for a local bank. I strongly suspect that one of my tellers is stealing because his drawer is short every week. I have interviewed several employees, but no one knows anything, and the teller refuses to answer any questions regarding the missing money. Can I require him to take a polygraph test?

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Q. Our new plant manager wants me to revise our sexual harassment policy to require employees to submit complaints in writing. He says this will formalize the procedure and help ensure that only valid complaints are filed. I don’t think this is a good idea. Is it?

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Q. One of our supervisors wants to coach his son’s basketball team and has asked to leave work an hour early twice a week. We told him we do not have a problem with leaving early, but that he would have to use vacation time to cover the time lost. He refuses to do that and says we cannot dock his pay for the two hours because he is a salaried supervisor. Is that right?

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Q. We have an employee who claims to be a witch. She contends that witchcraft is her religion and has asked for certain holidays off. Are we required to accommodate this employee’s request?

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Q. We have been threatened with a race discrimination lawsuit. Frankly, we think we made a mistake. Can we settle the matter just between the employee and us?

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Q. What are the deadlines for paying employees who are terminated or resign from employment?

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Q. Can I make deductions from an employee’s final paycheck for outstanding expenses or company property that the employee still has in his or her possession?

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Q. I know employees can be required to waive their rights to sue to resolve employment-related disputes, either through a negotiated release or binding arbitration agreement. Can an employer also require employees to agree to waive their rights to file EEOC charges?

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Q. An employee who recently quit has not returned a company-owned laptop computer worth more than $1,000. Can we withhold the value of the computer from the employee’s last paycheck?

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Q. Someone from outside our company approached our HR vice president wishing to discuss a “personnel matter.” During the meeting, he presented the vice president with a set of union authorization cards signed by over half of the company’s employees. As the vice president flipped through the authorization cards, the individual stated that he is a union business agent and that his union represents a majority of an appropriate bargaining unit at the company. Are our employees entitled to an election to determine if they will be represented by the union?

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