Michael Fox

Q. We are closing one facility and laying off a large number of workers. In lieu of immediate layoffs, however, we want to temporarily transfer some maintenance employees from another facility 800 miles away. They have agreed to perform this work, which will take about three months. Do we have to pay them for the time spent traveling to the new work location, which will occur over a weekend?

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Q. The Department of Labor’s form for the Employer’s Response to Employee Request for Family or Medical Leave (WH-381) inquires whether the worker is a “key employee.” How should I mark those boxes? I consider most of our workers to be key employees, and I do not want to offend anyone by suggesting that they are not.

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Q. We have an employee returning from a leave taken under the FMLA. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we question the worker’s ability to perform his old job because the length of his absence was too short for him to recover completely. Also, the fitness-for-duty certificate simply states that he is “able” to work, without addressing his specific job duties. Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?

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Q. I have an employee who is taking leave under the FMLA. The company is continuing to pay the same portion of her health insurance premiums that we paid while she was working. If the worker fails to return to work when her protected leave expires, may the company recover the premium payments made during her leave period?

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Q. I recently discovered that an employee who handles my company’s accounts receivable has filed for bankruptcy. Can I discharge this employee?

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Q. We have an employee on FMLA leave. Can we replace her and find a different job for her when she returns?

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Q. Is it becoming a practice among employers to quit conducting employee evaluations?

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Q. Our company has random drug testing. Can we send an employee to be tested for suspicion of drug use?

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Q. My company posted an internal job position for 24 hours and only one person applied. She got the job. This person knew about the position and the posting because she works in HR. Is this legal to do in the state of Texas?

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Q. May an employer provide an employee’s medical information to a collection company?

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