Susan Lessack

Q. An employee frequently comes in late or is absent because of car troubles. Is this a justifiable reason for termination? To avoid this issue in the future, can we ask applicants if they have a reliable means of transportation to get to work?

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Q. Many of our part-time warehouse employees have recently been putting in well over 40 hours per week. Do we have an obligation to change their status to full time?

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Q. One of our managers has medical problems and has used a significant amount of paid sick leave. Because we don’t have a defined sick pay policy, this manager uses paid sick time whenever she’s out (full day or half day). How can we legally cap this? Is developing a policy with specific hours our only alternative?

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Q. One of our managers resigned a month ago, but she applied for FMLA leave a day before she quit. Are we under any obligation to return her to a position from which she resigned? Are we obligated to offer her a job when FMLA expires?

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Q. We recently terminated an employee. He claims he is legally entitled to a letter outlining the reasons for his discharge. Is he correct?

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Q. Our company pays overtime to salaried supervisors for hours they work over 40 in a week. I have never heard of this compensation practice. Is it legal?

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Q. Does Pennsylvania law specify what we should keep in personnel files?

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Q. We require direct deposit of employee paychecks. We have one employee who hasn’t set up an account despite frequent requests. We have to mail his check from headquarters, sometimes via courier. Can we charge him a fee?

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Q. We have an exempt employee who just returned after giving birth. She says she needs to express milk three times a day and we have to let her. I thought the federal law says breaks were just for hourly employees. Do we have to give her this time? She’s away from her desk for 20 to 30 minutes each time.

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Q. I understand there are lots of questions we can’t ask during interviews. But what if the applicant brings up the subject? For example, if she mentions that she just had a baby, can I ask if she’s made child care arrangements? If a person is coming from out of town, I may ask why. If they say “boyfriend/girlfriend,” can I ask if it’s a permanent move?

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