Yearly Archives: 2016

Ask HR: Can we do “working interviews?”

Dear HR: We are recruiting a new chef for our restaurant. We have a reputation for having the best food in town so we need to be sure our potential new hire will be able to keep up with our fast-paced kitchen, and that their skills measure up. Can we have the top four applicants come in for an evening shift for a “working interview?”   HR Answer: Under wage and hour laws any work […]

Ask HR: Do I need to remove Holiday Decor?

Dear HR:  In our small office we enjoy decorating each year for Christmas. This year one of our new employees has stated that they do not want to have decorations in their work area for religious reasons. We moved all holiday décor to the other side of the office, but we’re wondering if we should remove all the decorations to keep our new employee happy? Our clients enjoy the holiday decorations and look forward to […]

Ask HR: Volunteers – Working time & taking calls

Dear HR: I have several staff members that are also volunteer firefighters. If all of them happened to be called to a fire at the same time, I would be so short-staffed I’d be forced to close my store until they return. Am I able to require them to take turns when they get calls?   HR Answer: Employers are generally not required to grant leave for volunteer firefighters of a rural fire protection district. […]

The Affordable Care Act and the Future of Health Insurance

Cardinal’s Bird’s Eye View In November we looked at What Employers Need to Know – Choosing a Health Plan, the price of health insurance, compared small and individual market plans and costs—and made some predictions. It was not a stretch to predict that health insurance carriers who were not making a profit would continue to raise rates. Predicting what the Trump Administration and Congress will do now is more problematic.

Ask HR: Leave Requested – What’s PTO? & OFLA?

Dear HR: My employee requested a leave of absence due to a serious injury that happened off-the-job. They have two weeks of PTO available and qualify for 12 weeks of OFLA leave. They are asking to take off a total of 14 consecutive weeks: 2 weeks paid and 12 unpaid. Do I have to honor the request? HR Answer: Employers may decide if PTO must be taken concurrently with OFLA. In this instance, you may […]

Federal Court Blocks Overtime Rule

Yesterday afternoon, a Federal judge in Texas halted the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule by issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction. The recent DOL’s rule requiring “white collar” employees to be paid at least $913 per week in order to remain exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will NOT go into effect on December 1, 2016, as planned. This injunction will delay activation of the rule and the future of the overtime […]

Ask HR: Can a Car be a Job Requirement?

Dear HR: My employee is consistently late and missing work because their ex-spouse took the car. So now I need to hire another person. May I require that applicants must have a car to apply for this job?   HR Answer: You may require a car depending on the position, but ONLY if the requirement is job related. For example, if you have a job opening that requires traveling in a car throughout the workday—like […]

Ask HR: Front line staff with dandruff.

Dear HR: Our new cashier has a bad habit of scratching their head while working, causing what appears to be dandruff and scabs to fall on their clothes, floor, and counter. What can I do or say?   HR Answer: As long as you have a legitimate business reason you may establish a dress code, hygiene rules and grooming standards, as long as your policy is nondiscriminatory. It is important that your employees have a […]

Ask HR: Can I shift workweeks to reduce overtime?

Dear HR:  We are busy, and are exploring the addition of one or possibly two shifts. We currently have a Sunday through Saturday work week, and have employees going into overtime sometimes as early as Thursday. We are wondering about having multiple work weeks with the intent of reducing overtime.   HR Answer:  There does not appear to be any wiggle room under State and Federal wage laws as far as tweaking work weeks or […]