Common HR Questions

MEA’s goal is to provide current, detailed and useful information to HOTLINE callers, but our responses do not constitute legal advice about what you should or should not do in a particular situation. You should always consult legal counsel.

GPS Tracking: Employee Surveillance or Unlawful Spying?

Has your organization considered implementing GPS technology to track employee movement and/or monitor use of company vehicles? If so, you’re not alone. GPS tracking is a hot topic in terms of surveillance and privacy, and with good reason. With the widespread increase of telecommuting, dispersed workforces, and reliance on...

What Are the Benefits of a Performance Management System?

There is no law that requires employers to conduct performance reviews. However, there are very solid business reasons for conducting them, including: Performance reviews help document salary actions. They provide feedback to employees on their performance. Performance reviews help identify “good” and “bad” performers. They help document personnel decisions,...

I Need a Quick Non-Compete Agreement …

Question: “Hello MEA hotline… I Need a Quick Non-Compete Agreement …” Answer: Sorry, but no. A non-compete is not a one-size fits all document that can be ordered up over the Hotline. You can start with one of a variety of standard forms that lawyers usually maintain for different...

Providing Benefits for Domestic Partners

Question: Are employers in PA required to provide benefits for domestic partners? Answer: Last year’s court decision overturning Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage has led to a lot of Hotline calls asking if Members are required to provide the same benefits to employees’ “domestic partners” as they do to...

Our Employees Travel to States Where Marijuana is Legal

Question: How does the legalization of marijuana in certain states potentially affect us as a NJ-based employer? We have employees who travel to states where marijuana has been legalized.  What is our risk if one of our employees uses marijuana while they are in such a state?  Since we...

Employee to Carry Gun to Unsafe Worksite?

Question: Some of our employees are required to travel into areas that have high levels of crime and some have indicated that they don’t feel safe. We are worried that someone will ask to carry their registered weapon to one of these sites. Can we allow an employee to...

Background Checks on Prospective Employees Before Offer

Q: Can companies conduct background checks on prospective employees before making the offer of employment? A: As a general rule, the information obtained and requested during the pre-employment process should be limited to that which is essential for determining if a person is qualified for the job. It should...

Employee’s Vision Issues are Affecting Job Performance

Q:  An employee recently told the company that he has vision issues that might be affecting his job performance; he’s going for more testing. The office manager told him to bring her a diagnosis and treatment plan.  This is an older employee, and his vision is probably just age-related. ...

How do I Calculate a Year for FMLA Purposes?

Q: We do not have a written policy on how we calculate a year for FMLA purposes.  Is it better to have one or not to? *Frequently, questions come into the MEA Expert Hotline that require legal interpretation.  For these questions, MEA relies on Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle &...