Susan Lessack

Q. We have a good reason to believe that one of our employees is divulging proprietary company information to a friend of his who works for our competition. We have a device that would allow us to listen in on his phone conversations, but not record it. Is it within our rights as an employer to listen in on his calls?

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Q. We have a pregnant employee who is planning to take maternity leave soon. Her performance has deteriorated badly during her pregnancy, but we don’t think her pregnancy has anything to do with it. Can we terminate?

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Q. If an employee constantly calls in sick because of migraine headaches, how can we verify the real reasons for the absences? Can we ask for information each time the employee is absent?

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Q. We’ve begun paying FLSA exempt employees 20% less per week and asking them to work 20% fewer hours. Some still continue to work far more hours. Can we legally do this, or must the employees report the actual number of hours they worked on their time sheets, even though they’re only receiving 80% of their regular salaries?

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Q. Once a year, we have employees show a picture ID and provide a signature that allows them to authorize someone else to pick up their paychecks for them. If an employee doesn’t provide ID and a signature, we will mail the check or hold it until he or she personally picks it up. Is this legal?

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Q. When employees get married, do we need new W-4s to show the new name? And do we need new I-9s?

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Q. Can we open an employee’s personal space or belongings—such as her locker, purse or desk drawer—if we suspect she is stealing?

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Q. We have a nonexempt salaried employee who normally works Monday through Friday. We pay her biweekly. She took a weeklong vacation, which normally would come out of her paid time off (PTO) bank. We had a customer emergency and called her into work on the Saturday of her vacation week. How should we pay her? …

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Q. Can we legally reduce the hours of full-time employees in one of our divisions because it needs to cut overhead?

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Q. If an employee constantly calls in sick because of migraine headaches, how can we verify the real reason for the absences? Can we ask for information each time the employee is absent?

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