The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Q . An employee who’s been employed since October is out on workers’ comp and will be for a while. Do I send her FMLA paperwork even though she hasn’t met the criteria of being employed for at least a year? It’s my understanding that I should send it to everyone that requests leave, and only after they return the paperwork should I determine if the person is, in fact, eligible.

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Unlimited vacation has become a popular benefits trend. The idea is simple: Employees take as much vacation as they want so long as they get their work done.

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Some employees who need to take FMLA leave may be newly disabled or suffer from serious health conditions that develop into disabilities. If they are not fully healed, they may not be able to obtain a doctor’s clearance to return to work.

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Do you have more applicants who are at least minimally qualified than you can reasonably interview? Then split up the applicant pool before you begin those interviews.

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Yes, employers need to take solid steps to prevent sexual harassment. But that doesn’t mean HR should panic every time an employee reports offensive or crude comments.

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A Pennsylvania court has ruled that a former housekeeper can collect unemployment compensation even though she quit after a bottle-waving boss badgered her to take drug tests.

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A few stray comments in the workplace aren’t enough to taint every employment action. The comments have to be somehow tied to the employment action.

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A guard at Lewisburg Federal Peni­­ten­­tiary has sued the Justice Depart­­ment after a federal inmate obtained his Social Security number and other personal data through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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It’s a question more employers worry they will find themselves asking: “What should I do if one of my employees gets arrested?”

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Public employees have limited First Amendment rights to speak out on matters of public importance. But when that speech is actually part of the employee’s job, it’s not considered “speaking out” in the Constitutional sense. It doesn’t come with job protection.

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