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
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Q. We let employees take short breaks to smoke outside or even have a chiropractic adjustment at the clinic next door. Employees are on the clock. Could we be responsible for their health problems related to smoking or injury from spinal adjustments? Should we just require paid breaks be taken indoors? —H.R., Missouri
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. 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. When an employee returns from maternity leave, do we have to give her the very same job she had or can she be put to work in a different type of position? —J.B., North Carolina
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. Some of our employees routinely ask to use FMLA when they are five, 10 or 15 minutes late. It creates a scheduling nightmare and hurts morale. Does FMLA cover employees who are consistently tardy for work? —M.P., Florida
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. Our company of 15 employees manufactures labels in California. We have an employee whom we want to move from the day shift to the swing shift. Although this employee has the most seniority, he has the least experience with the presses we run during the day. When we told the employee of our plans, he said that moving him would be illegal. Is he correct? We are worried that if we move him and he quits, it won't be the last time that we hear from him. —T.R., California
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