Susan Lessack

Q. One of our employees has a sick parent who lives in another country. She wants FMLA leave to care for the parent. Is FMLA available under the circumstances? And how would I verify the authenticity of a foreign medical certification?

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Q. We have an hourly employee who consistently arrives late—about seven to 10 minutes each time. Can we cut her pay to the nearest quarter hour? We would, of course, pay her for staying later.

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Q. Is dyslexia considered a disability under the ADA? Can we legally screen potential employees for it through our pre-employment tests?

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Q. When an employee gives two weeks’ notice, we prefer to terminate immediately. Is there anything that prevents us from doing that? We are worried that employees who are leaving may tamper with our systems.

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Q. Is it legal to adopt a once-a-month payroll for hourly employees?

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Q. Is it legal for us to strongly encourage our employees to have money withheld from their paychecks to support a charity drive, like the United Way?

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Q. Can our company require an independent contractor to wear a specific uniform? And can we stipulate that the contractor buy the uniform through us?

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Q. We’re going back and forth on this question: On an employment application, can we legally ask about an applicant’s prior conviction record or arrest record?

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Q. One of our employees is having cosmetic surgery and plans to take leave. Would that fall under the FMLA, or would it be a leave of absence?

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Q. One of our hourly employees ($15 per hour) arrives late way too often. We’d like her to get here on time so we’re considering cutting her hourly rate when she arrives late. For example, if she arrives an hour late, we would not pay her for the hour and cut her pay to minimum wage for the rest of the day. Can we do that?

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