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. 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
If you think you don't have to start paying hourly employees until they arrive at the official job site, think again. While it's true that you don't normally need to compensate employees for their home-to-work commute, you might have to pay for the travel time if you impose restrictions on that commute or require them to stop along the way ...
Like employees of most universities, people who work for Johns Hopkins University (JHU) can earn a substantial subsidy to help their own kids enroll as students at the school. But the Baltimore-based university takes that perk a step further: It helps with tuition even if a JHU child decides to attend a different university ...
We saw much hand-wringing among business groups on Capitol Hill last month after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 241-185 to grease the skids for union organizers ...
Q. Are there any specific rules defining “early out” retirement packages offered to employees? Our company is planning to offer early outs. Our criteria mandate that an employee must have worked 15 years and be at least 50 years old. But we have employees who have worked as long as 28 years, but fail to meet the 50-year-old criterion. Is this age discrimination in a reverse sort of way? —T.G., Florida
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. In a previous issue of HR Specialist, you said that employers can’t force employees to visit a psychologist. Our Internet policy says that if we find employees accessing pornographic Web sites, they’ll receive a three-day suspension without pay and a mandatory referral to an EAP counselor. Can we require this? —A.C., 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