Q. We post employees' vacation schedules in the employee lunchroom. Occasionally, outside visitors or customers visit the lunchroom, too. Some employees have complained about this posting policy, saying it borders on invasion of privacy. Are they right and should we stop doing this from a legal standpoint? —M.M., New Jersey
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Q. What's the law on letting employees review all their personnel files? Can we prevent it? —J.S., Utah
Q. Do employees paid through a temporary agency count toward the 50-employee eligibility number for the Family and Medical Leave Act? —M.S., New Jersey
Q. Is our company required to provide a couch or cot on the premises in the event that an employee becomes ill? Are there any laws that dictate safety or health reasons for doing this? —V.A., Ohio
Q. We may soon terminate an employee whose daughter also works here. We're uncomfortable with her daughter remaining as an employee. Can we legally terminate the daughter, as well? —R.M., Missouri
Q. We fired one of our truck drivers after giving him a written warning about continued lateness in completing weekly logs. Should we have taken any other action prior to his termination? —R.W., California
Q. Does asking independent contractors to complete a time sheet jeopardize their independent contractor status? —P.M., Washington, D.C.
Q. The job performance of one of our employees no longer meets our standards. While she used to be a good worker, she's now making a lot of errors, coming in late from time to time and not getting along with her co-workers. We've talked to her about these issues, but her performance has not improved. If we fire her for poor performance—which we would consider termination for cause—will she be eligible to collect unemployment compensation? —W.T., District of Columbia
When explaining to employees the reasons for a layoff, make sure you don't contradict yourself. That's especially true when the same manager gives an employee different reasons: A jury can take those contradictions and infer discrimination ...
Compelling a prisoner to work without pay is not illegal, a federal court has ruled in considering a Texas inmate's request. The prisoner worked in the prison laundry and claimed he should be paid at least the federal minimum wage ...