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Carl Crosby Lehmann

Q. We recently received a complaint that one of our sales reps had sent false emails and texts about one customer to another. We determined that the emails and texts have been sent from the cell­­phone we provide to the sales rep. We asked the service provider to send us copies of the emails and text messages. The service provider refused our request. Why can’t we get that information?

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Q. We have several employees who drive commercial motor vehicles. We have heard that there are rules about the use of cellphones by those drivers. How do those rules affect us?

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Q. We have learned that one of our employees has been subjected to domestic violence and has a restraining order against her boyfriend. We are concerned that the man might become violent in our workplace. We are considering terminating the employee to make sure that our other employees are safe. Does such a termination raise any legal issues?

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Q. I’m dealing with an enforcement agency investigator who is really rude. She accuses me of hiding information, threatens to subpoena information and says things like, “I know all about your company and how it treats minorities.” She’s been calling my managers at home and demanding that they answer questions. What do I do? Am I going to make things worse if I complain about her behavior?

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Q. The EEOC wants us to participate in mediation. Should we? If we don’t, will it make the investigator think we’re trying to hide something?

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Q. We received a charge from the EEOC and we’re dealing with it. Now we’ve received correspondence from the state equal opportunity agency, too. What’s up? Are we going to be investigated twice?

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Q. A discrimination charge was filed against my company almost two years ago. We responded to the charge and provided the requested information. We haven’t heard anything for more than 18 months. My boss is worried and wants the process over with. Should I try to find out what’s going on, or just leave it alone?

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Q. What were the recent changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

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Q. We are changing our break policy. What breaks are required and can I require employees to take an unpaid meal break?

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Q. We have employees who live and work in Cali­­for­­nia. We get frustrated that we are not allowed to have them sign a noncompete agreement. Is there anything we can do?

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Q. Do we have to take a nurse’s signature on an FMLA certification? I’d like to have an actual doctor sign the forms so I am sure someone actually saw the employee.

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Q. Sometimes, our employees work overtime and we note those hours in an overtime bank so they can take time off later. One of our employees claims this is illegal and that we have to pay him. Is that true?

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Q. When we were disciplining an employee, the president of our small company told him that he “will always have a job here.” He’s an at-will employee. Are we now obligated to keep him on if he improves?

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Q. On our company website, we post employees’ pictures and a brief overview of their education and professional background. Recently, an employee asked us to remove her information for security reasons. She fears someone may google her name and find out where she works and the area she lives. Thoughts?

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Q. We want to terminate an underperforming employee and are considering offering a severance agreement in which we agree not to contest unemployment benefits and he agrees to resign and release the company from any claims. Is that OK?

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Q. One our employees called in sick for a shift during a recent holiday weekend. He told several co-workers that he didn’t come to work because he was having so much fun at his cabin. According to a few co-workers, he made several Facebook posts about his various recreational activities on the day that he was allegedly too sick to work … Can I ask one of the co-workers to show me the Facebook posts?

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Q. We just found out that one of our managers is having a consensual sexual relationship with someone who reports directly to him. If we confirm with the subordinate that she believes the relationship is consensual, do we need to do anything else?

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Q. We recently fired a veteran sales representative on short notice. He still has a new iPad that we purchased to help make sales presentations. We have repeatedly asked him to return the iPad, but he is ignoring our requests. Can we now just deduct the cost from his last paycheck?

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Q. We recently disciplined an employee for repeated insubordination because of her attitude toward her supervisor. We wrote her up and placed a warning report in her file. Now she is protesting the accuracy of the report and demanding the chance to “correct” it. Can we force her to sign our disciplinary report as-is?

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Q. A couple of weeks ago, an employee came into work smelling like alcohol. His supervisor later reported that day that the employee “acted drunk” in a staff meeting. Yesterday, one of the same employee’s co-workers indicated that the employee came back from lunch “smelling like marijuana.” Can these reports justify requiring the employee to undergo a drug or alcohol test?

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