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Ralph Peterson

Q. We have an employee who tells his boss he has finished projects when he really hasn’t. Frankly, half the time we don’t believe him when he says something. What can we do?

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Q. We have an employee who will soon go on temporary military duty and be gone for several weeks. Do we have to pay him at all during his absence, or does he receive military pay?

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With the enactment of the Franken Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2010, Congress and the Obama administration have begun an assault on employers’ use of mandatory arbitration as an alternative to court trials for resolving workplace disputes and claims. Employers have been asking whether other alternatives to jury trials will exist in the absence of arbitration. One alternative that companies can consider: entering into waivers of civil jury trials with their employees.

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Q. We have an employee who will soon go on temporary military duty soon and be gone for several weeks. Do we have to pay him at all during his absence, or does he receive military pay?

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Q. One of our employees sometimes sends offensive jokes to her fellow employees from her home e-mail account. We’re worried that someone may take offense and sue for racial or other harassment. What can we do if she’s sending this from home?

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Q. We recently heard from a co-worker that an employee (“Mike”) seemed to be having some health issues. Mike hasn’t said anything to his supervisor or anyone else as far as we know. What can we say?

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Q. Our break/locker room is located upstairs. We have several employees (age 66 to 77) who are having trouble climbing the steep stairs due to advancing age. We’re afraid they’ll fall. They all say they’d crawl up the stairs before they quit.

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Q. If union organizers show up during the workday and demand to talk to my employees, can I tell them to get off company premises?

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Q. Our pay stubs currently list employees’ available vacation, sick and other leave hours. Our new software allows employees to log in and check that balance anytime. Can we eliminate that information from the pay stubs?

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Q. We are in the travel business and our office regularly receives free tickets to sporting events (worth $30 and up). We typically give them to employees who want to use them. Is such a gift ethical?

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