The HR Specialist

Q. We want to start a policy that would deduct the cost of tools from employees’ final paychecks if the tools aren’t returned or if they’re returned damaged. Can we legally do this? —M.P., Kansas

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Q. Our company pays monthly bonuses to hourly employees based on the previous month’s performance. When calculating overtime, should the bonus pay be included only for the weekly payroll that contains those bonuses, or does it change the overtime rate for other weekly pay periods, as well? —A.A., Tennessee

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Q. Should I always make and retain copies of Form I-9 supporting documents? —K.L., California

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Q. We have mechanics who work on a straight commission basis. Do we need to track their hours? —E.D., Nevada

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Q. We have some employees who are earning the maximum salary for their job classifications. Can we cut their pay if we feel they’re overpaid? —D.N., Colorado

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Q. Do we have to pay employees for the time they spend changing into their uniforms before work (and out of their uniforms afterward)? We’re a hospital and our operating-room personnel must change clothes. —E.T., Maryland

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Q. Some employees have complained anonymously that an employee is receiving preferential treatment because she’s the wife of a manager. How can we defuse this situation? Should I transfer her to another warehouse? —B.B., New York

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Q. Doesn’t federal law say employees must be paid within two weeks of completing their work, no matter the excuse (computer glitch, etc.)? —A.L., Virginia

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Q. Our CEO changes his mind constantly. After we agree on a project, he’ll come back to me a day or two later with a different plan. How can I pin him down? —L.G., South Carolina

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Q. Is it legal to ask applicants medical questions, specifically, if they have HIV? Does the law allow any legal exceptions to ask this question of people applying for food-handling positions?” —S.S., California

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