The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

If you don’t terminate an employee for an obvious firing of­­fense but later use that reason to justify a discharge, you’d better have a good explanation for the delay. Otherwise, a jury may see the move as a pretext for some form of discrimination.

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Don’t let what you know is a meritless complaint keep you from disciplining an employee. If you can show the process was already under way and you had a solid business reason, go ahead and discipline the worker.

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous interpretation on Jan. 27 of the meaning of “changing clothes” in the FLSA is significant for unionized ­­employers in industries in which workers must change clothes to begin and end their work shifts.

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Do you have an employee who is so disruptive that co-workers repeatedly complain? You may have to fire her. Before you do, carefully document how her behavior negatively affects the workplace and what rules she is breaking.

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Gov. Tom Corbett told the Phila­­del­­phia Inquirer that he supports a bill extending anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

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Disabled employees who return to work before fully healed may be eligible for light-duty positions or other modifications as reasonable accommodations. However, employers that allow leave until the employee is fully healed don’t have that obligation.

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The current workforce consists of four generations with unique strengths, values, expectations and, perhaps, limitations. Used poorly, generation-specific employment practices could create legal liabilities.

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A waiter at a Philadelphia area Apple­­bee’s will have to go it alone against the company after a federal judge reluctantly admitted the man signed away his right to litigate in federal court when he joined the company.

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A former special needs therapist has lost her bid for unemployment compensation after a supervisor testified that the therapist told students she needed therapy herself because of the way the students behaved. The incident occurred while the supervisor was observing the class.

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Make sure you understand exactly when and how employees receive their pay. Reason: You could be personally liable for violating the Penn­­syl­­vania Wage Payment and Col­­lec­­tion Law (WPCL).

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