I’m not certain whether we need full-time HR help, part-time, or some project help. What can The Hopkins Group handle?

The Hopkins Group will conduct a human resources assessment that will assist you in making the decision between full-time and part-time HR. We can assist you in filling a full-time position, provide onsite outsourcing or project help. We work with you.

My company only has 3 employees so there aren’t any employment laws that apply to me, right?

Wrong! Some employment laws apply when there’s only 1 employee.

My employees know what they’re supposed to do, why do I need job descriptions?

Job descriptions are needed to define whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (the Act that determines who gets overtime and who doesn’t) and to outline essential job duties for Americans with Disabilities Act purposes. In a Department of Labor audit, a job description is the first document they want to see and misclassifying your employees may result in huge fines and back pay to your employees.

I have received a request for a copy of an affirmative action plan from the Department of Labor. Since we don’t have one, can I just throw the letter away?

Well, you can, but we wouldn’t recommend it! If you were sent the request by the DOL, then you need to develop and submit your plan to them by their deadline.

May I make an employment offer contingent upon successfully passing a physical?

Probably. Passing a physical examination requirement may be a bonafide condition of employment but the physical must be conducted after the offer of employment.

Do I have to offer the same benefits to all employees?

No. For instance, you may offer certain benefits to full-time employees, but no benefits to part-time employees.

May I terminate an employee for a safety violation?

Yes, under certain circumstances. However, a prudent approach is to suspend the employee while an investigation is undertaken. If the investigation concludes that a serious violation of company rules occurred, there are no mitigating circumstances and discharge is the customary penalty for such violations, termination may be justified.

As an employer, am I liable for sexual harassment at my company, even if I don’t know about it?

Probably. Courts have found that employers were liable for sexual harassment regardless of whether the employer knew, or should have known, about the harassment. However, the harassed employee has a duty to use the processes that the employer has put in place to complain about workplace harassment. Clear policies and expectations about employee conduct, plus Dallas harassment training and discrimination policies, and prompt investigation of any complaints are good defenses which may prevail if a charge is filed with a regulatory agency or a civil suit is brought.

Can I terminate an employee who has been out of work for an extended period of time on a worker’s comp injury?

Maybe. It depends on several factors, including your policy regarding absences and continued employment and the laws in your state.

As the owner of a company, do I have to provide workers’ compensation coverage for my employees?

It depends on the state(s) in which you operate.

What exactly does “employment at will” mean?

Employment at will is a legal concept stating that the employee is free to end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause or notice. That concept applies to the employer as well—until it runs head-on into federal and state employment related laws.


These answers should not be construed as complete or as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, as each situation is treated individually based on facts and circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.