The HR Specialist

Q. When we are figuring employees’ base pay for overtime calculations, can we exclude their vacation pay? —R.J.D., South Dakota

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Q. I read in your publication that if an applicant isn’t hired, we should retain the application for at least three years. I’ve heard elsewhere that applications should be kept for only one year beyond the date the position is filled. Have the rules changed? —S.C., Washington

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Q. I know we’re allowed to tell employees which months they can’t take vacations, but can we also require that vacations be taken only by the week, and not in daily, hourly or half-day increments? —P.A., Nebraska

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Q. We have a maintenance employee who we will soon put “on call” for various shifts (occasionally at night) to fix equipment. How should we handle his on-call pay? —E.P., Rhode Island

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Q. Is there any legal precedent or other justification for not allowing public employees to create work-related documents on their home computers? —J.R., Alabama

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Q. If a job applicant doesn’t mention that he or she is subject to a confidentiality agreement, should we ask? —L.M., Maryland

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Q. When we win contracts, we recognize employees with cash awards. But these awards may be given to only the select few employees involved. Is this legally OK? —G.J., Alabama

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Q. A group of our employees met during their break to have group prayer. A supervisor complained to our president, who instructed that we should notify employees that they can’t pray on break time. Nor can they pray during lunch unless they leave the building. Some employees are upset. Is this policy legal? —M.S., California

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Q. Is it mandatory for a nonexempt employee to take at least a 20-minute meal break after working a certain number of hours? —M.M., Illinois

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Q. Awhile back you suggested that we provide transportation home for employees who suffer an illness that could be work-related. Would that apply to company parties for which employees’ attendance is voluntary? —C.K, Illinois

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