Q. One of our salaried supervisors has informed us that he needs to take two hours off work each week for the next two months to undergo medical treatment. His physician has certified his illness as a “serious health condition” under the FMLA. May we reduce his pay for the time he will miss work, or are we required to continue to pay his full salary to retain his exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
Q. Lately we have been concerned about workplace theft—both of our property and that of our employees. We would like to search our employees’ lockers, each of which is secured with a worker’s own lock. Is this legal? Do we need the employees’ consent?
Q. We recently received a court order to garnish the wages of an employee who has failed to repay a student loan. I thought that the garnishment of an employee’s wages in Texas was prohibited by law. Is that no longer true?
Q. Do I have to allow an employee off work because he has been subpoenaed to testify in a friend’s divorce case? I would like to replace him if he misses work for more than a day or two.
Q. Our health maintenance organization contract calls for terminating coverage for anyone who moves outside the HMO service area. COBRA requires us to offer continuation coverage to qualified beneficiaries even if they move outside the HMO service area. How do I comply with these requirements?
Q. We suspect one of our employees has filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. We would like to hire a private investigator to gather information on the worker’s activities. What laws would govern that decision?
Q. Occasionally, when we receive a big order, our nonexempt employees have to work through their lunch breaks. Although we do not pay them for this work, we buy pizzas and sodas for all the affected workers. Is this lawful?
Q. I recently received an inquiry for a reference regarding a former employee. Does the job reference law alter what I should disclose regarding this person’s employment history?
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?
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?