The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

After a young, inexperienced driver for the Philadelphia Parking Authority accidentally ran over and killed a fellow employee, managers convened a grief counseling session. An already difficult gathering took a turn for the worse when the grief counselor asked for ideas on how to prevent such accidents …

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Think an employee is acting disrespectfully? Firing him for insubordination will probably stick.

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A woman who claimed she feared she would be fired if she took leave to take family members to medical appointments has lost her fight to receive unemployment benefits.

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Employees who quit their jobs for “necessitous and compelling” reasons may still be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Quitting because of medical problems sometimes qualifies. That’s why employers should consider offering accommodations if an employee says he needs to quit for medical reasons. An accommodation offer may mean there’s no “necessitous and compelling” reason to quit.

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Do you sometimes offer new employees different salaries for the same positions? If so, be sure you document why one applicant is worth more than another.

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Supervisors who ignore an employee’s initial oral request for a reasonable accommodation risk exposing their employer to liability if the employee quits and sues. Never dismiss such a request out of hand.

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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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