Category Archives: Employee Handbook / Policies

Quirky Question #257, Food for thought – whistleblowing claims against agricultural companies

Question:

My company manufactures food products and is thus regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Last month, we terminated an employee because of his chronic poor performance. I just learned that the day before he was terminated, the employee told his supervisor that he believed our company was not complying with the FDA’s nutrition label requirements. Are we at risk that he will bring a whistleblower claim?

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Quirky Question #256, Mandating vaccines for employees?

Question

Between the flu and the current measles outbreak, we are considering imposing a requirement on each of our employees to get a flu vaccine each year and either get the MMR vaccine or provide proof that they have received it in the past.  We’re concerned not just about employee productivity, but also the health of all of our employees and our customers.  Are there any legal issues we need to worry about?

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Quirky Question #246, iKnow where your iPad is

Question:

Our California company intends to provide iPads to all of our sales employees, but to make sure we can locate the iPads if they are lost or stolen, we plan to use the iPads’ GPS capabilities to track their locations.  As an added bonus, we’ll also be able to track the sales employees themselves.  Any concerns with this plan? Answer→

Quirky Question #244, An Update on Ebola

In Quirky Question #244, we discussed what employers should do to protect their employees and businesses in light of the potential Ebola threat.  Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly 700 Minnesota National Guard members to deploy to Liberia this spring to help fight the Ebola epidemic. The citizen-soldiers are scheduled to start training in March with an estimated six-month deployment to Liberia starting in April. Answer→

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Question:

The recent media coverage of Ebola has been overwhelming.  As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect our employees and our business, but I also don’t want to overreact to what is seemingly a very small threat.  What steps can, and should, I take to protect my employees?  Does Ebola potentially implicate any state or federal employment law obligations that I should be aware of? Answer→

Quirky Question # 215, Are Capped Vacation Plans Now Disfavored And Should My Company Switch To An Unlimited Vacation Plan?

Question:

We have a new CFO who is upset by the huge amount of accrued vacation we have to carry on the books. We have a cap of two times the annual accrual.  He says most high tech companies like ours have unlimited vacation plans and that this eliminates the need to carry accrued vacation.  Is this a new trend?  And can we implement a new unlimited vacation policy immediately? Answer→

Quirky Question # 162: Employee Handbooks Creating Vested Benefits

Question:

Our company is located in California. We have language in our handbook that says all our employees are “at-will.” Our existing handbook also includes provisions setting out the conditions under which we will lay people off and what benefits they would be entitled to if that were necessary. This was put in place five years ago. Given the current business climate, we may be facing lay offs in the next six months and want to change this policy. Since our employees are at-will and can be fired at any time for any reason, can we unilaterally change this policy now that business conditions have changed? Answer→