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BMD Editors

Is there a germ of sad wisdom in this cartoon depicting a manager’s suggestion box follies?

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No one wants to have his or her mobile device lost, but what if it happens? Is your phone or tablet set up so that someone else can return it to you? Here are some tips to increase the chances of a lost device getting returned.

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Q: “I work with a property management company who hires current tenants to work around the property, cleaning or doing outside work. They are currently compensated with a monthly rent credit. They put in as many hours as is necessary to get the job done, which could put them over 40 hours in a week. They sign a contract with the company to do this. Are there any issues with doing this? Should they be hired on and paid as an employee?” – Susan, Michigan

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Whether it’s to binge-watch “Downton Abbey” or get some shopping done, employees are increasingly feeling free to call in sick when they’re perfectly healthy.

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Q: “An employee requests permission to arrive 5-10 minutes late for work each morning because her spouse suffers from multiple sclerosis, and is so fatigued that he cannot get out of bed on his own in the morning to take his medicine. Is the employee considered eligible for intermittent FMLA? Is an employee asking to leave work on occasion to pick up her father, who suffers from dementia and sometimes wanders off, eligible for intermittent FMLA?” – April, Tennessee

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If you don’t read the results of a staff engagement survey correctly, you might be doomed to the same fate as the clueless manager in this true story.

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Employee engagement surveys are great, but they’re rarely done often enough. Think about performing weekly “pulse” surveys.

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Q: “Can the company legally assess an administrative fee to employees who have been issued a corporate credit card and have been told in writing that the card is to be used for business purposes only, yet continue using it for personal purposes? It means the accounting department must adjust their regular paycheck to deduct the monies used for personal expenses.” – MK, Oklahoma

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Q: “We have a nonexempt salaried employee who is required to work 40 hours a week. She rarely works overtime, but when she does she gets 1.5 times her hourly rate. My question is, if she works less than 40 hours in a week, does not have any PTO left and does not make the time up, can we dock her salary?” – Maria, West Virginia

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Q: “I’m considering pay raises to compete with the current industry standard. If new hires are starting at a higher rate than what we currently pay, is it a viable solution to raise current employee salaries to that of the newly hired using a formula? Example: A job is advertised at $18 per hour for new hires, and the company will look at raising current employees with no infractions to the advertised rate. Those current employees who have infractions will have a window of opportunity to raise their pay if they stay infraction-free. Do you see any issues with this as a fair and standard way of discerning pay raises for current employees?” – K., Virginia

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