Ask HR


Ask HR: Am I required to pay Jury Duty time away?

Dear HR, We just had our first jury duty situation come up for one of our employees.  My employee is paid hourly and works during the day, so, jury duty would occur during her shift.  Am I required to pay her?  May I count this as PTO, Vacation or Sick leave?  Please help! HR Answer: Both Federal and State wage and hour laws require all hourly and non-exempt employees be paid for all hours worked.  […]


Ask HR: Do I continue Health Insurance coverage during extended Jury Duty leave.

Dear HR, One of my employees was selected for service on a trial which may potentially last several months.  Am I required to continue the employee’s health care insurance? HR Answer: In Oregon, there is a small-employer exemption, and the requirements do not apply for employers with nine or fewer employees.  The continuation the employee’s health, disability, life or other insurance coverage would be up to a small employer’s benefits policy to define when and […]


Ask HR: Can Employee back-use Sick Time?

Dear HR, I have an employee that wants to take a sick day for a previous pay period that we have already paid them for. She forgot to turn in her request in time to get it on her last paycheck. So, I have a few questions about this situation in particular, and for future reference if this comes up again. Is it possible to pay sick time after a pay period has passed? If […]


Ask HR: Employees went over Sick Time, How to Correct?

Dear HR, Several of our employees were accidentally allowed to use over 40 hours of Sick Leave during the year although our policy states the maximum use of 40 hours. This occurred because our managers did not know they needed to check the employee’s sick leave time accrued balance before approving. We will make this policy clear to all managers going forward, but our question is this: Can these excessive Sick Leave hours that were […]


Ask HR: Can compassion override policy?

Dear HR, One of our great new hires failed to follow appropriate call-in policy before missing work.  We are aware that they had a death in the family – so we want to be kind and help our employee through this tough period, but how do we do that while still upholding our company policies and procedures?   HR Answer: Employers often find themselves competing for good employees and struggling to retain the ones they […]


Ask HR: New Hire unable to complete drug test.

Dear HR, Upon completing the new hire steps – which include a drug test – our potential new hire let us know that they were unable to provide a timely urine sample due to a medial condition. We have never had this happen before, how do we proceed with hiring?   HR Answer: Drug testing—always a challenge and always grounds for suspicious behavior? Let’s face it, when it comes to whether or not someone is […]


Ask HR: Do I have a “Reasonable Suspicion” drug test situation?

Dear HR, We had a customer call and complain that when they got their vehicle back from service, half a bottle of their prescription pain medication was missing. May I drug test the employees who worked on the job?   HR Answer: Great question – drug testing is usually performed pre-employment, post-accident, for reasonable suspicion, or at random. “Reasonable suspicion” does not typically mean possible theft; generally it refers to suspicious actions a person would exhibit […]


Ask HR: How far for Accommodating Medical Issues?

Dear HR, My employee that has been missing A LOT of work for an extended period of time— at least one shift a week, and this is now adding up to weeks of work being missed. This is negatively affecting my business as no one is here to answer the phones or to get the front office work done. However, every time a shift is missed, my employee brings in a doctor’s note. My employee […]


Ask HR: Returning from Leave to Less Hours.

Dear HR, My employee was recently out of work for three weeks due to having surgery and returned to work about a month ago. Before taking the time off, my employee was working a full-time schedule for two weeks. Now, due to slower business, I am only able to provide 28 hours per week. I could offer a few more hours if my employee is willing to work 7 days each week. My employee is […]


Ask HR: Employee has been accidentally overpaid.

Dear HR, Due to a reporting error by my employee, they were over-paid 5.75 hours for the last pay period. We have a signed payroll deduct form authorizing the deduction of those hours from the next pay check; but now we need to terminate this employee for a major policy violation. Are there special rules on deducting from a final check? What is the max amount or % that can be deducted?   HR Answer: […]