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Susan Lessack

Q. We conduct yearly performance evaluations, during which we review whether employees have met expectations. If an employee fails to meet those expectations, can we legally decrease the employee’s salary?

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Q. One of our employees has been out on FMLA leave for seven weeks taking care of his sick mother in another state. We approved a full 12 weeks of leave. I received a voice mail from him saying that his mother died. He also said that he had to clear up a lot of things with his mother’s estate, but that he would be back by the end of his scheduled leave. Can he do that, or can I tell him he needs to come back sooner?

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Q. We require that our employees to agree to resolve all disputes by binding arbitration, rather than going to court. I’ve heard some government agencies have ruled those kinds of arbitration policies illegal. I don’t think that could be right, but thought I better check.

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Q. One of our employees is over age 70 and has recently had memory problems and a car wreck. What (if anything) can we do to protect ourselves from potential workers’ comp claims should he injure himself?

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Q. Are employers responsible for fixing an employee’s car if it is involved in an accident while traveling to conduct company business on company time?

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Q. Must a company post mandatory notices at every work site? What are the penalties for failing to put up the mandatory posters?

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Q. One of our employees who normally reports to another facility has been out on workers’ comp and is now doing light duty in the office. Getting here adds an extra hour to his commute. I know we don’t have to pay for his commuting time, but what about his travel expenses?

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Q. An employee has been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in a criminal case. Are we required to pay him for that time, or can we have him take vacation time or an unpaid leave of absence?

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Q. We recently had an incident in which a supervisor hit an employee. Are we liable? What kind of violence is a company responsible for preventing?

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Q. I told an employee who takes lots of FMLA intermittent leave that all his time out of the office (no matter what it was for) would count against his FMLA time. My VP told me I was wrong and that was absolutely not the law. Who is right?

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