Q. How far can we go to make sure that employees aren’t taking advantage of our company while they’re out on workers’ comp leave? Can we, for example, call them at home to make sure they are resting and not out working another job or abusing the system? —D.V., Illinois
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Q. We use a timecard punch-in/punch-out system. If an employee forgets to punch in, and we manually do it, do any labor laws apply? —B.B., New York
Q. When do we have to count “on-call” time as hours worked?—L.G., California
Q. Our business recently was forced to implement layoffs—and most remaining employees walked off the job. All were given a COBRA notice, but only one chose to take the coverage. Since this was a group insurance policy and only one person will now be insured, the insurer is cancelling our policy. What's our responsibility to that ex-employee? —G.B., Texas
Q. Our company policy says employees who work on holidays are paid time-and-a-half. If an exempt employee works on a holiday, can I pay him time-and-a-half? —R.E., Iowa
Q. We have a maintenance employee who we will soon put “on call” for various shifts (occasionally at night) to fix equipment. How should we handle his on-call pay? —E.P., Rhode Island
Q. To hold down litigation costs and resolve disputes faster, we're thinking about requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that would make them arbitrate employment disputes instead of going to court. Are these agreements legal? —C.R., California
Q. We get numerous unsolicited résumés through e-mail and regular mail. Do we have any duty toward these individuals? Do we have any obligation to keep the materials they send? —R.B., Illinois
A recent U.S. Labor Department action shows how aggressively the federal government is going after employers who don't follow the letter and spirit of the Service Contract Act. The law requires employers that perform services on federal contracts to pay service employees no less than the wages and benefits prevailing in the locality ...
It looks like comprehensive federal immigration reform will have to wait. Immigration rallies in the spring and summer rattled lawmakers to attention, as both the House and the Senate passed separate bills aimed at addressing border control and illegal employment ...