The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

On July 6, the U.S. Department of Labor published a long-anticipated proposed rule that would make overtime pay available to nearly 5 million workers who are currently exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirement. The proposed rule would raise the minimum salary level for overtime exemption and raise the salary threshold for certain highly compensated employees.

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Employers that make public commitments to creating a more diverse workplace don’t risk losing a lawsuit solely based on that stated objective. An employee alleging discrimination because he isn’t part of the targeted demographic for diversity still has to show that he was fired or not promoted for a discriminatory reason. He can’t simply argue that the diversity commitment proves his case.

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State Sen. Daylin Lynch, whose district straddles Montgomery and Delaware counties, has introduced legislation that would raise the Pennsylvania minimum wage to $15.

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Philadelphia-based Comcast has settled charges it manipulated women into taking lower paying jobs at a call center in Washington.

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Employees discharged for being absent may still be eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s because employees must have committed willful misconduct to lose the right to benefits. An employee fired for missing work because he couldn’t call in or otherwise comply with his employer’s call-off procedure, for example, would still be eligible.

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What should you do if you receive reports that a manager has uttered offensive slurs?

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Does the arrival of a tougher scoring supervisor also mean extra liablity? Not necessarily, as a recent case shows.

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A Texas-based oil and gas drilling company, ROC Services Inc., has settled an overtime lawsuit filed by two workers in Pennsylvania. Two employees testing wells filed suit, alleging the employer’s pay scheme ran afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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It may be disruptive and expensive to provide an employee with up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave and continue to cover your share of an employee’s health insurance premiums. But ignoring your FMLA obligation—or trying to find creative ways around it—can be even more costly to your organization. Consider this recent Pennsylvania case in which the employee ended up losing her medical coverage during a health crisis. The employer has now been ordered to pay the employee’s medical bills directly.

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An employee who has fully recovered from a medical crisis isn’t likely to qualify as disabled under the ADA. Therefore, she would not be entitled to further accommodations. In addition, as this case shows, a few negative comments about her prior condition would not be considered to create a hostile environment.

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