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Michael Fox

Q. A while ago two of our employees developed a romantic relationship. They are now expecting a baby and both put in a request for family leave to bond with their newborn. Are we required to give both workers leave for the birth of their child—even if they are not married?

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Q. After several large health insurance claims last year, our president decided to increase the premiums deducted from employees’ paychecks. However, the rate he has directed to be deducted is higher than the rate at which we are billed for the spouse and dependent coverage. Is it legal to make money off of the “premiums” we ask em­­ployees to pay?

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Q. Are we required to put up a new FMLA poster? Did the DOL recently make other FMLA changes we need to know about?

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Q. We recently started permitting two of our employees to telecommute on certain days of the week. We are concerned with tracking these employees’ hours. What are the wage-and-hour concerns we should be aware of for telecommuting employees?

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Q. When our employees come in to work, they spend part of their time getting their equipment running. Do we need to compensate them for that time?

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Q. We recently disciplined one of our employees for a handbook violation. She has since alleged that she was the victim of harassment. We are now facing a retaliation claim from this employee. How should we respond to such retaliation complaints?

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Q. We have heard that the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a timekeeping app that allows employees to track their time on smartphones. Should we permit employees to use this in our workplace?

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Hourly employees’ use of smartphones (as well as online email access from remote locations) has boosted worker productivity. However, it has also substantially increased the risk of off-the-clock-work violations.

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Q. Our office received medical information from an employee’s physician in conjunction with his FMLA leave request. What’s the best way for us to maintain this kind of documentation?

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Q. One of our employees has asked to go on medical leave due to “stress.” Does stress qualify as a condition that requires leave?

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