Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts for: Q&A

Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 17 2018
Q&AEmployee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLabor RelationsWage and Hour  

Q&A: No-fault attendance policies must allow many exceptions

Question: We have a “no fault” attendance policy which assigns points for absences, tardies, and early departures. Employees are disciplined and eventually terminated if they reach a certain number of points. We know we have to allow exceptions for legally protected time off, but what if it’s unclear whether an absence is protected?  

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Aug 22 2018
Q&ADisabilityDrug and AlcoholHiringTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Use MRO to verify whether prescription caused positive drug test

Question: We require all new hires to pass a pre-employment drug test. Do we have to use the same process we use for our random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug testing and send positive test results to a medical review officer (MRO)? Or, can we simply ask potential new hires for a list of medications they have been prescribed?

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Photo of Kara Craig
Aug 17 2018
Q&ADisabilityLeave LawsSafety and Health  

Q&A: No FMLA notice required unless employee asks for time off

Question: I have a production employee who says that standing for eight hours a day is causing him pain. He doesn’t want to go on any type of leave and says he’d rather just suffer through it. We are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). What do I do?

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Photo of Jodi Slavik
Aug 10 2018

Q&A: Respond quickly and thoughtfully to social media posts

Question: I just found out that an employee posted a hateful comment toward immigrants on her personal Facebook page. We’re afraid of the bad PR impact on our business. Can we fire her for violation of our policy against discrimination?

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Aug 06 2018
Q&ADisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and Health  

Q&A: “100-percent healed” return-to-work policy violates ADA

Question: To avoid workplace injuries, we require all employees to be 100-percent healed without any medical restrictions before they return to work after an illness or injury. We think this is an important policy to protect employee safety, but recently heard it might be unlawful discrimination. Is it?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jul 06 2018

Q&A: Rotating shifts may be essential job function

Question: We have approximately 10 employees in one department performing the same job, with 6 working rotating shifts and the other 4 working only on the day shift. One of the employees assigned to the rotating shift brought in a doctor’s note saying he can only work on the day shift due to a medical condition. Do we have to grant his request?

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Jul 05 2018
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Informal harassment complaints should be taken seriously

Question: Our harassment policy specifies how employees should report issues to the company. If no one formally reports inappropriate behavior, do we need to do anything about it? Also, can we discipline an employee for not following our reporting procedures?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jun 19 2018
Q&ALeave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: FMLA-required rest breaks generally not compensable under FLSA

Question: We have a non-exempt employee who has a medically certified serious health condition that requires a 10-minute rest break every hour. Our current schedule allows one 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked, so most non-exempt employees only receive two rest breaks each shift and not the eight this employee requires. Do we have to pay the employee for all eight rest breaks?

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Photo of Jackie Marks
May 25 2018
Q&AHarassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Leave is last resort for pregnant worker with lifting restrictions

Question: We have a pregnant employee who just notified us she has lifting restrictions for the remainder of her pregnancy. Her current position requires consistently lifting 40 pounds, but she says she can’t lift more than 10 pounds. Can we put her on leave for the rest of her pregnancy?

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May 09 2018
Q&ASafety and Health  

Use a numerical rating system to prioritize safety in busy times

Because deficient safety processes are the underlying causes of accidents, it is important to administer the most critical ones effectively. Here’s how employers can prioritize safety objectives when under a time crunch: Create a weighted scale for “prevention” and one for “compliance” (1-5 for effectiveness at “prevention” and 1-3 for effectiveness at “compliance,” where 1 is at the low end…

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