Courts view interns the same as employees: as “agents” of your organization. So should you. If you use interns or plan to, advise supervisors to manage them as closely as employees, if not more so. And apply your workplace policies to them ...
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Expect a call from an employment lawyer when a disgruntled employee is fired. If the axed employee belongs to a protected class (race, sex, disability, etc.), expect more than a call ...
Q. As part of our new employees' noncompete contracts, we've started including a clause that requires employees to repay the company (through payroll deduction) for training costs if they quit or are fired within one year. Are we OK legally? —S.M., Kentucky
Q. We need to change our severance policy, mostly due to declining business conditions. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change? —J.C., Illinois
Q. One of our managers has medical problems (she qualifies for the ADA and is in an age-protected class) and has used a significant amount of sick pay. Because we don't have a defined sick pay policy, this manager is paid sick time whenever she's out (full day or half day). How can we legally cap this? Is the development of a policy with specific hours our only alternative? —F.E., Georgia
Q. Is it legal to require management employees to give us a longer resignation period than other employees? —M.L., Missouri
Q. How long is a company supposed to keep paper records? We'd like to throw out some of our old, archived paperwork. —B.H., Pennsylvania
Q. Are there any questions we cannot or should not ask a reference when screening applicants? —B.B., Louisiana
Q. We’re a small business with eight employees. One employee frequently takes off for six to eight weeks with medical problems. She’s done this each year for the past three years. It’s a huge burden because very few people have her training, so we can’t hire a temp. How long do we have to allow her to disappear for months at a time? —M.S., Ohio
Employees who are infertile may qualify for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. That's true even if the underlying medical condition that caused the infertility has been cured. As a result, you may be required to give infertile employees time off for fertility treatments and even adoption planning ...