Q. About a year ago, our company replaced manual time clocks and punch cards with a computerized system, so each employee would punch in and out on the computer. The information is downloaded directly to the payroll department. Despite numerous reminders, from stickers to manager meetings, we still have a chronic problem of employees failing to clock in or out of work. Any suggestions? —M.M., Minnesota
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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
Employers used to train their workers to prepare for upcoming promotions. Nowadays, more companies invest time and resources in full-scale succession planning for their high-potential employees ...
When the threat of an employee lawsuit looms, most employers are advised to take a tough stance, fight the charges and never admit guilt. But some attorneys now advocate that an often-overlooked option of simply saying "I'm sorry" in certain situations may actually soothe feelings and even defuse legal action ...
Q. One of our employees recently got married. She’s informally going by her new last name, but she hasn’t changed her name on her Social Security card to her married name and doesn’t plan to. We submit all payroll information using her maiden name. Do we face any liability? —L.K., Missouri
Even though some provisions of the new landmark pension law don't take effect for 16 months, HR professionals need to start educating themselves immediately. The changes amount to the most sweeping reforms of pension law in more than 30 years ...
Q. We want to start a policy that would deduct the cost of tools from employees' final paychecks if the tools aren't returned or if they're returned damaged. Can we legally do this? —M.P., Kansas
Q. I work for a nonprofit agency, and we plan to start using an agency credit card. But we also need a policy that covers who can use the card and when, plus some other things I haven’t thought of yet. What should the policy include? —M.M., Pennsylvania
Q. Our company pays monthly bonuses to hourly employees based on the previous month's performance. When calculating overtime, should the bonus pay be included only for the weekly payroll that contains those bonuses, or does it change the overtime rate for other weekly pay periods, as well? —A.A., Tennessee
Q. An employee has not returned our calls or come to work at our hotel for over a week. She has a set of office keys and owes money for laundry. Can I hold her check until she returns the keys or pays for her laundry? Alternatively, can I deduct the cost of replacing the keys and laundry from her last paycheck? —I.C., Maryland