Category: HR Q&A

Q&A: Do Exempt Employees Get Their Full Pay for Partial-Week Furloughs?

Q&A: Do Exempt Employees Get Their Full Pay for Partial-Week Furloughs?

Yes, salaried exempt employees must be paid their full weekly salary if they do any work during your designated seven-day workweek, including tasks as quick as checking work email or voicemail. As your goal is to save money, be sure the furlough covers the full workweek and that affected exempt employees understand they’re not to […]

Q&A: Are There Topics We Shouldn’t Talk About During an Interview?

Q&A: Are There Topics We Shouldn’t Talk About During an Interview?

You should avoid asking questions that could be viewed as discriminatory or that infringe on a candidate’s privacy. Essentially, you want to avoid any questions that are not directly related to the candidate’s ability to perform the job. These would include questions about race, national origin, citizenship status, religious affiliation, disabilities, pregnancy (or desire to […]

Q&A: What Do We Do When a Prank Crosses the Line?

Q&A: What Do We Do When a Prank Crosses the Line?

It sounds like this prank could have crossed the line into harassment, even though the person who was offended wasn’t necessarily the intended target. As an employer, you have an obligation to prevent and deal with harassment complaints promptly and thoroughly. To that end, follow your standard procedure to investigate the incident and take appropriate […]

Q&A: A Candidate Told Us They Have a Disability. What Do We Need to Do?

Q&A: A Candidate Told Us They Have a Disability. What Do We Need to Do?

We recommend asking if they need an accommodation during the application process, but above all, ensure that having this information doesn’t influence your hiring decision. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide accommodations to applicants with disabilities if needed to be considered for a job unless the accommodation causes an undue hardship. […]

Q&A: Does the NLRA Apply to My Business?

Q&A: Does the NLRA Apply to My Business?

It does! Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to limit certain labor and management practices that can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses, and the U.S. economy. Although a good portion of the NLRA deals with unionization, […]

Q&A: Do We Need to Pay Summer Interns?

Q&A: Do We Need to Pay Summer Interns?

Generally, yes, though it depends on who benefits most from their work. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether a worker is an employee (who must be paid in accordance with federal wage and hour law) or can be classified as an unpaid intern (a non-employee who […]

Q&A: What is Discrimination Based on National Origin?

Q&A: What is Discrimination Based on National Origin?

Yes. Discrimination based on national origin is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and includes treating applicants or employees unfavorably because they are from a particular country or region of the world, speak with an accent, or appear to be of a certain ethnic background. Even if the manager didn’t follow through […]

Q&A: A remote employee’s roommate has been disrupting their work to the point that their performance is suffering. How should we handle this?

Q&A: A remote employee’s roommate has been disrupting their work to the point that their performance is suffering. How should we handle this?

This situation should be handled the same way you’d manage most work disruptions affecting an employee’s performance. Start by having a conversation with the employee about the disruption and explaining your concerns and performance expectations. Remind them that it’s their responsibility to maintain a working environment where they can be successful. Feel free to brainstorm […]

Q&A: What’s the difference between a furlough and a layoff?

Q&A: What’s the difference between a furlough and a layoff?

Furloughs and layoffs are ways to reduce labor costs during times of economic hardship. They both involve a loss of work for employees, but there is a key difference between them. A furlough continues employment but reduces scheduled hours or requires a period of unpaid leave. Because the employment relationship remains intact, employees typically expect […]

Q&A: A remote employee told us they were injured at home during their workday. What are our responsibilities?

Q&A: A remote employee told us they were injured at home during their workday. What are our responsibilities?

When an employee informs you that they were injured while working from home, take the claim seriously and follow your usual procedure for a workplace injury. Here are the steps we recommend: * Thank them for letting you know about the injury and ask if they need medical attention. If necessary, help them get it. […]