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Susan Lessack

Q. We use a timecard punch-in/punch-out system. If an employee forgets to punch in, and we manually do it, do any labor laws apply?

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Q. Currently, our company pays 70% of employees’ health insurance premiums. Now we need to either decrease the percentage or possibly ask employees to pay the entire premium. How much notice must we give employees before making such a change?

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Q. Can we require full-time nonexempt employees to attend work-related functions after regular hours? If so, should this time be compensated?

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Q. Our church day care center hired a woman who—we later found out—was living with a man who was married to someone else. Our director had a moral problem with this situation and terminated her. I think the termination was illegal. Was it?

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Q. Let’s say I do the payroll for a company and know that we are misclassifying employees (exempt vs. nonexempt; independent contractors vs. employees). And let’s say I advised the owner, but he chose to leave it as is. Could I be held liable as the payroll administrator?

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Q. One of our exempt employees is in the Reserve. He is going on a two-week training session that starts on a Tuesday. That means he will work on Monday, the start of our week. Do we have to pay him for the whole week when he is only going to be here Monday?

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Q. We recently switched to a new payroll company. They made a mistake when they set up our overtime calculations. Our employees who work the swing shift are given an extra 25 cents for regular hours and 37 cents for overtime hours. But we accidentally paid them 57 cents extra per hour instead. Can we require the employees to repay the extra amount?

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Approximately 70% of employers sponsor wellness programs designed to drive down health care costs, reduce absenteeism and promote better employee health. Wellness programs that offer premium discounts have long been required to comply with HIPAA. More recently, two other laws muddied the wellness waters: the new health care reform law and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

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Q. We fired one of our truck drivers after giving him a written warning about continued lateness in completing weekly logs. Should we have taken any other action prior to his termination?

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Q. I have a question about providing honest feedback during reference requests. Is it better to defend the fact that I provided a truthful (negative) assessment, rather than trying to explain why I can’t give any reference at all? Aren’t we protected by negligent-referral and reference-immunity laws?

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