HR Questions and Answers
Q: I have an employee who is taking advantage of my sick time policy. She says that she will be bringing in a doctor’s note but never does. Can I question her about it?
A: First, I would say that you should have a policy that outlines your sick time. If you don’t, create one. It should state the number of days employees can be out before a note is required and it should state that the doctor needs to release you back to work if you are out for an extended amount of time. The policy should state what that amount of time is as well. You cannot question the employee about the medical condition.
Q: A female employee wears short skirts that make some of the male employees uncomfortable because when she sits down the skirt rises higher. The dress code policy does states that short skirts are not permitted. What should I do?
A: Start with reminding her of the policy and let her know that her clothing choices are making other employees uncomfortable. If she insists on continuing to wear skirts and dresses that are an inappropriate length, the employee should be subject to disciplinary action.
Q: I have an employee that has three weeks of vacation on the books and wants to take them all at once because they are going away on a trip. I am in retail and this is a very busy time for my industry. Do I have to give the employee the time off?
A: No, time off is subject to approval. If the time off will cause a hardship to your business you do not have to approve it. I would suggest you give an explanation with the denial so they do not feel like they are being treated unfairly. Lastly, make sure you are being consistent with all staff members and their requests.
Email your questions regarding human resources to Pat Eardley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.shifthr.com. All of her columns can be found online at www.MoultrieMews.com.
Pat Eardley is an H.R. advisor with more than 19 years’ experience in human resources management. She supports small-business owners, allowing them to have more time by focusing on creating a successful business environment for them and their employees. She is a SCORE mentor and member of the Center for Women and serves as a job coach there.