The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

The price of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is going down this year. Gov. Ed Rendell accepted the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau’s recommended rate schedules, which decreased workers’ comp premiums by an average of 10.22% …

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The FMLA is undergoing change. In early 2008, Congress made the first significant amendments to the law since it was enacted almost 15 years ago in 1993. Only a few weeks later, the U.S. Labor Department published proposed changes to its FMLA regulations …

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It can happen before anyone in HR even realizes it: Managers or supervisors begin hiring applicants with ethnic or national backgrounds similar to their own. If you notice an unusually high number of similar employees concentrated in a division or section, it’s time for real efforts to make sure your staff fairly reflects the makeup of the overall work force …

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Employees who agree that they want an arbitrator to handle their absenteeism claims shortly after they have been disciplined can’t later file a federal FMLA or New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) claim …

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If your organization uses seniority as a factor in making promotion decisions, make sure you think through what sort of seniority you really want to use—company seniority or job seniority. Make sure managers and employees alike understand which type of seniority counts for promotions …

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As the 2008 election cycle intensifies, organized labor is devoting substantial resources to support candidates who will advance its ambitious legislative agenda in 2009. That agenda includes passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Employers must understand what EFCA passage would mean and what they can do now to ensure that union organizers do not target their employees …

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One of the easiest ways for employees to win discrimination cases is to allege that their employers punished them for complaining about alleged discrimination. Often, employees win those retaliation cases even while losing the underlying discrimination complaint. But employers can defeat retaliation charges by showing that the employee never complained in the first place …

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Employers covered by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act don’t have to worry about being sued separately under the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Equal Rights Amendment …

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In what the Philadelphia City Council is calling a “historic accord,” the city and building trade unions that will work on the $700 million expansion of the Philadelphia Convention Center have agreed to increase the number of minority participants. Under the agreements, the unions have disclosed the demographics of their membership and will push to diversify …

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A former department manager at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Woodland, Clearfield County, is suing the company for gender discrimination after she was fired for having a relationship with an employee …

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