Q. We give employees the choice of using two 10-minute breaks each day or combining them into one 20-minute lunch break. The employees are required to punch out and in for these breaks. Now, we have a policy that docks employees 15 minutes if they're four or more minutes late returning from a break. Is this legal? —J.B., Texas
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Employers may end up the unintended victors in a potential prescription-drug price war in Florida. When Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, announced recently that it would sell generic drugs for just $4 per prescription, it didn't take long for Target, the second-largest retailer, to follow suit ...
Despite calls for a moratorium on such mandates, state legislatures continue to require that insurance companies cover specific tests and treatments, which leads to increases in employer health premiums ...
Q. We are a not-for-profit agency working with developmentally disabled clients. Some of our therapists moonlight with private patients. Should we allow this? If not, how would we word a policy statement forbidding it? —B.B., Maryland
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, has introduced a database of average annual health care costs for workers and employers in major U.S. cities ...
Q. One of our employees, who has diabetes, is on the road a lot tending to patients in their homes. We’ve heard that she is having trouble seeing patient charts and difficulty pricking patients’ fingers for tests. What should we do? —M.J., New Jersey
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. If we let some employees in a department return to work in a light-duty capacity, can we deny other employees that same option? We need to do this because the department no longer can operate properly with half its staff on medical leave or limited to light duty due to medical conditions. The union contract says that when an employee is eligible for medical leave, six months must pass before we may terminate the employee. —D.W., Illinois
Q. One of our employees is on leave after giving birth. She may qualify for a position that recently opened up. Do we have an obligation to notify her of that opening? —R.D., Ohio
Q. We've had a number of suspicious injuries at work this year. We don't want to jump to conclusions, but how can we determine if these injuries are part of a workers' comp insurance fraud scheme? —K.H., Mississippi