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protected class

What To Do If an Applicant Reveals That They’re Part of a Protected Class

How should we respond when an applicant reveals during an interview that they are part of a protected class? If an applicant reveals protected information (i.e. religion, sexual orientation, birthplace), your primary responsibility is to make sure you do not allow this information to become a factor in determining whether or not to hire them. […]

employment verification

What I-9 Form Should We Be Using?

The I-9 form says that it expires on 3/31/2016. Is there a new form available? The current version of the Form I-9 was set to expire on 3/31/2016. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now in the final stage of reviewing their new form, but the form has yet to be officially published […]


When is the Last Day to File Those 2016 Tacky Taxes?

Have you put off filing your taxes this year? If so, we have some good news! The Internal Revenue Service says you have three extra days! Due to the holiday, Emancipation Day on Friday, April the 15th in the nation’s capital, the filing deadline for 2015 tax returns is now Monday, April 18, 2016, rather […]

Employee Loans

Why Employee Loans Are Not Recommended

An employee has requested an advance on his pay, but we haven’t done this before and we’re hesitant to start the practice. What is recommended here? While some organizations provide loans or advances to employees, it is generally not recommended. Advances can be a benefit to employees and a kind gesture on the employer’s behalf, […]

unpaid intern

Unpaid Internships

As summer is just around the corner, a common question for employers  is whether it is acceptable to engage unpaid interns. Assuming the organization in question is a for-profit company, this is an area in which to exercise extreme caution. While most interns must be compensated at least minimum wage plus any applicable overtime in […]

Employee and an Independent Contractor

Can a Worker Be Both an Employee and an Independent Contractor?

We hired a part-time worker who also does occasional contract work for us. Is it okay that we pay this worker as both a W2 employee and as an independent contractor? Typically a worker cannot be both an employee and an independent contractor for the same company. An employer can certainly have some employees and […]


Demoting an Underperforming Employee

A recently-hired employee has the skill set to perform most but not all of the duties they were hired to do. May we demote them to a different position and reduce their compensation? Yes….if the employee does not have a written employment contract guaranteeing them a certain position or rate of pay, you may reduce […]

Background Checks

Are Selective Background Checks Acceptable?

Is it appropriate to perform a background check on a certain applicant, but not on others? You may conduct background checks for some jobs but not others. Different jobs may require different levels of investigation, but for the same job title, make sure you keep your process uniform to avoid charges of discrimination. As long […]

Written Warning

When an Employee Refuses to Sign a Written Warning

If an employee refuses to sign the documentation for a written warning, how should you respond? When an employee refuses to sign a warning, it is recommended that you write “refused to sign” at the bottom of the notice. It is best if you have more than one person witness and attest to this refusal. […]

previous disability

Can We Ask an Applicant about a Previous Disability?

An individual submits an application to your organization that has previously worked for you before. You have heard that this individual has been in and out of the hospital in the recent past due to sever back pain. Is this something you can ask him about during the interview? According to the Americans with Disabilities […]