The HR Specialist

Q. We have an employee whom we fired on a Monday and we paid him his final check on the next regular payday (the following Friday). He said we legally had to issue his final check within 48 hours of the firing. Is that true?—M.D. …

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Q. I suspect one of the employees in our office is abusing his FMLA leave because he always seems to call off work at the end of the week or around holidays. What options are available to us to deny his suspicious leave requests? —E.L. …

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Q. Our company recently terminated an employee for violating company policy. At the time of his termination, he had a company laptop, which he refuses to return. Can we withhold his final paycheck pending the return of the company equipment? Or, can we deduct the value of the equipment from his final paycheck? —S.F. …

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Q. An employee has been out for the past few months on workers’ comp. During his recovery, we placed someone else in his position. His replacement has performed better than the injured employee, and we want to keep the replacement. Do we have to return the original employee to his job following his return from workers’ comp leave? —R.P. …

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The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) fined Citigroup Global Markets Inc. $3 million to settle charges of using misleading sales materials during retirement seminars for BellSouth employees in North Carolina and South Carolina. NASD also ordered Citigroup to pay $12.2 million in restitution, and it suspended three brokers who conducted the seminars …

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The House voted last week to reverse a three-month-old U.S. Supreme Court decision that set a strict time limits for filing pay-discrimination claims. Do you have to worry about this bill winning final approval? Here’s the answer …

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The selection process is over, and the newly promoted employee has begun work. Now is not the time for those involved in the hiring process to pontificate on racial balance in the workplace. That’s especially true if the applicants were all qualified for the position and a member of a majority class was selected over minority candidates …

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If an employee says he or she is being sexually harassed, it’s management’s job to take the complaint seriously. Those who don’t may have to pay dearly—because a jury may order that the victim receive punitive damages, too. The quickest way to earn those punitive damages is to make light of complaints. As the following case shows, that can mean an extra payment of three times the actual damages—or even more …

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Q. I know the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives disabled employees special rights. But I read that the law also extends to employees who aren’t disabled. How is that so? —N.L. …

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Q. Is obtaining a legal release from an employee in exchange for severance pay guaranteed to prevent any legal action by that person? —J.S. …

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