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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law, like that of many other states, provides temporary payments to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The law is administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor …

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The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act covers all employers in the state and provides wage replacement for employees hurt on the job. The law provides payments to employees regardless of fault. That is, to earn benefits, injured employees don’t have to prove that their employers were negligent; they need only prove that the injury occurred at work. Sounds simple, right? It’s not …

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Employers of four or more people must comply with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). The law is administered by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), which also receives the initial federal discrimination charges made under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act …

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In Pennsylvania, employers must allow employees (or their designated agents) to inspect their personnel files upon reasonable request. The law applies only to actual employees, not to ex-employees or applicants who want to look at their application files …

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Organizations that perform work on public works projects in Pennsylvania must pay the prevailing wage for various semiskilled positions, as determined by the Prevailing Wage Board …

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Under Pennsylvania law, employers can refuse to hire a job applicant based on the person’s criminal history only if the criminal record directly relates to the “applicant’s suitability” for the job …

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The Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law parallels the federal Equal Pay Act in many respects. Under the law, employers can’t discriminate in pay rates because of an employee’s gender. Every Pennsylvania employer, regardless of size, must comply with the law …

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The Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to pay wages on regular paydays or face fines or imprisonment …

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The Pennsylvania Seasonal Farm Labor Act regulates the working conditions of migrant farm workers. The act establishes minimum wages and labor hours for seasonal farm workers …

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The Pennsylvania Child Labor Act restricts employers’ ability to hire minors. Children ages 12 to 14 can work as golf caddies (within certain restrictions), and children ages 14 to 16 can work during nonschool hours. Youth under age 18 may not work more than six consecutive days …

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