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Ask the Experts: Service Dogs and the ADA

Oct 1, 2018
Question: We have a new employee in our call center who has a service dog. She came to her interview and trained without the dog, but is now asking if she can bring her dog to work. Do we have to accommodate her request? Answer: The first step will be…
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Ask the Experts: Marijuana and the ADA

Aug 2, 2018
Question: Is medical marijuana use protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? If so, what accommodations would be considered reasonable? Answer: You are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states, under the federal…
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Ask the Experts: Overtime Pay Calculations with Nondiscretionary Bonuses

Sep 17, 2018
Question: How do we handle overtime pay calculations for hourly employees when they receive nondiscretionary bonuses? Answer: A nondiscretionary bonus is a bonus based on an employee meeting criteria such as production, sales, quality, efficiency, or other performance standards. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that overtime pay be calculated…
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Ask the Experts: Workplace Assault and Workers’ Compensation

Apr 11, 2018
Q: One of our employees was assaulted and injured by another coworker in our workplace. Is this compensable under California workers’ compensation? A: If the employee was injured at work, it is likely that the claim is compensable based on the facts of the situation leading up to the assault.…
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Ask the Experts: Foreign FMLA Documentation

May 24, 2018
Question: How should we handle a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave request for an employee to care for a parent who lives outside the United States? Can we request translation and notarization of paperwork? Answer: The same leave allowance and notice requirements apply to a leave taken to…
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Ask the Experts: Mandatory Flu Shots

Nov 18, 2019
Question: Can we require our employees to get flu shots? Answer: While there is no law that prohibits employers from mandating flu shots — and in some states, the law requires all healthcare workers to get flu shots — you should carefully determine if the benefits to your business outweigh…
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Ask the Experts: Distributing ERISA Notices Electronically

Oct 9, 2018
Question: Our company is getting ready for open enrollment. Can we distribute ERISA notices electronically instead of printing and delivering hard copies? Answer: Yes, electronic delivery complies with ERISA’s disclosure rules – but certain conditions must be met. First, whether delivered in hard copy or electronic media, ERISA requires preparing…
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Federal Employment Law Update – June 9, 2017

Jun 22, 2017
Fiduciary Rule Takes Effect On June 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule takes effect. The rule requires retirement plan advisors to recommend investments that are in a plan participants’ best interest regardless of fees or commissions. It also expands the definition of an investment advice fiduciary…
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Ask the Experts: Using a Health FSA on COBRA

Jan 21, 2019
Question: A terminated employee took COBRA for the health FSA. Can he stop making after-tax COBRA contributions after three months, then just keep paying the 2 percent admin fee and continue accessing the account? Or does he have to make full contributions in order to use it, even on COBRA?…
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Ask the Experts: Background Checks on Minors

Apr 5, 2019
Question: Are we permitted to run background checks on minors? Answer: Running a pre-employment background check on any job applicant requires consent, which forms a legally binding agreement. Minors, in most cases, are prohibited from entering into a legally binding agreement, which means consent from a parent or legal guardian…
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Ask the Experts: State-specific Sick Leave

Jun 22, 2018
Q: We have employees in multiple states. What guidance can you provide on meeting state-specific regulations under one sick leave policy? A: As with other state-specific laws that differ from state to state, you may — as long as compliant in all states — offer a paid sick leave policy…
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