One of my employees has requested time off to vote. My state doesn’t require voting leave, but this employee works in a different state and we have employees located across the country. What do I need to do here?

Answer from Kyle, PHR: If an employee of yours works in a state with a voting leave law, you will need to comply with that law. Most states require that employers provide at least a few hours to vote, and many of those states require some or all of that time to be...

We recently hired an older individual whose start date is next Monday, but I would like to push back their start date because we’ve just had an employee test positive for COVID-19. Would this be allowed? We will be testing everyone in the workplace, but I know older employees may be at higher risk.

Answer from Daniel, SHRM-CP: You will need to tread carefully here. Pushing back an employee’s start date because of their age would be a clear case of age discrimination, even if you’re operating with the best of intentions. Age discrimination is illegal under the...

We’ve heard that some employees aren’t sanitizing their workstations and wearing masks when required. Do we need to investigate safety violations even if no one has made an official complaint?

Answer from Angela, SPHR: Yes, I recommend you investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement or disciplinary action. As an employer, you have an obligation under the OSHA general duty clause to provide a workplace free from hazards. Under the circumstances,...

Are depression and anxiety considered disabilities?

Answer from Kyle, PHR: They can be, yes. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is a person who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an...