Michael Fox

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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Q. One of our employees received a jury duty summons. What are our obligations towards the employee in terms of pay and leave?

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Q. We have recently needed to cut back on some of our employees’ shifts, meaning that some of our workers are now working fewer than 40 hours per week. In order to bring their hours up to 40, these workers have been filling their time sheets with varying amounts of their earned vacation. Are we permitted to restrict when our employees use their earned vacation?

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Q. Some of our employees are required to drive our company vehicles from home to various work sites in our area. Are we required to pay them starting from the time they leave home?

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Q. Some of our full-time employees have told us that they are looking for part-time jobs to make extra income. We’re worried about how this will affect their performance at our company. Can we prohibit them from working for other employers after-hours?

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