Leaving one workplace for another always presents some challenges, such as for these two workers.
QI currently work for one company but will change jobs very soon. Because of an excellent year, my current firm will have a maximum return on its profit-sharing plan. Previously, employees who worked the full year were eligible for a payout around March, whether still employed or not.
Just last month the company changed the policy so that an employee must still be with the company at the time of the payout.
Is it fair or legal to deny this payout if I was employed the entire time that the profit-sharing period covers?
AIt may not be fair, but Bill Bethune, a Tysons Corner lawyer who represents corporate interests, said: "The general rule is that an employer reserves the right to amend the plan by changing the rules, provided the employer makes the change in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner with regard to all employees. And the change must be prospective."
Moreover, he said it is common for companies to require that an employee still be working for the firm when the payout is made.
But Bethune said he "would have a problem" with what this worker's company has done, changing the eligibility rules shortly before the end of the year for the 2002 payout, as opposed to setting new rules for 2003 and beyond.
"It's changing the rules after the game is played, or at least deep into the game," he said. "I'm not saying it's a foul, but the participant ought to take a look at the plan and see what it says. Most workers can get a copy of the plan by just asking for it" from the personnel or human resources office.
My wife and I are moving to Boise, Idaho, next month due to a new job she accepted. My question is how to handle the contact information on the resumes I am going to distribute in my search for employment. Do I list my address in Memphis, and my current phone there and e-mail address? By the time the resumes are received we'll probably be on the way to Boise.
Palmer Suk, president of Snelling Personnel Services, a Vienna recruiting firm, said he would not continue to list the Memphis address and phone number. Rather, he said, he would list his new Boise address if he already has one, as well as his cell-phone number and e-mail address.
"If he doesn't have a place to live yet, perhaps he has a relative who lives there and could list that," Suk said. "I don't think it's a huge issue, but a local address always looks better."
A footnote from last week's advice on announcing one's maternity leave: Several alert readers noted an important provision of the effective date of the Family and Medical Leave Act that On the Job did not. The law allows new mothers to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs and then return to their job or a comparable one. But new mothers are covered by the law only if they have been with the same employer for 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during that period.
-- Kenneth Bredemeier
E-mail your workplace questions to Kenneth Bredemeier at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss workplace issues with him Wednesday at 11 a.m. at www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.