Human Resources

From employment law to compensation and benefits, FMLA and hiring and firing and more, Business Management Daily provides comprehensive Human Resources updates.

Discover how your colleagues – and competitors – are dealing with discrimination and harassment, employment law, benefits programs, and more.

Q. We gave eligible employees a “floating holiday” in lieu of having Dec. 31, 1999, as a paid holiday. We generally pay employees for all unused vacation, sick and personal time upon termination, but we have no policy regarding an unused floating holiday. Do we have to pay workers for any unused floating holidays upon termination? Does it make any difference if the employee requested the day off but the supervisor denied the request? —C.R., Illinois

You can no longer rely on the "motor carrier exemption" in the Fair Labor Standards Act to avoid paying overtime to delivery drivers who use vans and pickup trucks on their routes ...

For nonexempt employees making below $15 an hour, it's wise to set merit raise potential at twice each year, not just annually, said Sharon Koss, a compensation consultant in Seattle. Why? Hourly workers need a goal to shoot for and a reason to work hard. Waiting a year for a raise is too long.

How much does having a smoker on staff add to your costs? On average, smoking breaks and higher health costs related to smoking cost employers the equivalent of nine weeks’ lost productivity per year ...

Take note if you automatically deduct meal periods from your hourly employees’ total hours worked: Although making that deduction isn’t technically illegal and doesn’t by itself violate the Fair Labor Standards Act, it's a dangerous practice ...

Q. I'd like to know if our company needs something like a HIPAA form for employees to sign when we release personal information to others. Is HIPAA only for the medical field? —B.B., New York

Q. What are the legal ramifications of requiring all employees to work a minimum of 45 hours a week (nine hours a day)? Everyone in the office is an exempt employee. —S.M., New Jersey

Q. Can we change employees' work hours on short notice by altering their schedules? Also, we have a part-time employee who's been employed for a few months working 32 hours a week. She's preparing to return to work after recovering from a car accident. Can we reduce her work hours? —J.L., Maryland

Q. An employee took FMLA leave Sept. 1 due to job stress. In October, she had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers' comp ruled that her absence was work-related and it dated her workers' comp claim back to Sept. 3. So, they're now saying that her FMLA leave won't start until she is officially released from workers' comp. Do we need to keep a job open for her indefinitely? —F.W., Nevada

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