The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Although most employers have policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on an em­­ployee’s sex, race and religion, many have not yet added gender identity to the list of protected categories. The lack of protection has real consequences for transgender individuals.

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The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling awarding the CRST trucking company $4.7 million in legal fees. A lower court had awarded the fees after it determined the EEOC failed to conduct its conciliation process in good faith.

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Three former 911 dispatchers have filed suit against Allegheny County, Pa., alleging it discriminated against them because of their race. One dispatcher also claims she was subject to sexual harassment.

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Retribution was swift and merciless for Luzerne County, Pa.’s payroll administrator after 1,400 county employees failed to receive paychecks on the final Friday morning of November last year. County Manager Robert Lawton fired the man while he was out on approved vacation.

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Public employees can’t be terminated without a pre-dismissal hearing of some sort, to give the employee an opportunity to learn why she’s being fired and a chance to speak up. The hearing doesn’t have to be formal, but simply firing the worker without explanation isn’t an option.

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If a temp isn’t doing a good job, don’t expect improvement if you bring her aboard permanently. When considering converting temporary employees into permanent staff members, you don’t have to accept an application from someone who has already proven herself to be a poor worker.

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Sometimes, it becomes obvious soon after hiring an employee that he is not going to work out as expected. But what if you still want to give him a chance?

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Employees fired for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. But what is willful misconduct? The term is broad and can include all kinds of behavior, such as refusing to cooperate with an employer’s rea­­sonable request for information.

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If an employer is sued for discrimination, harassment or retaliation, chances are all emails related to the employee will be shared with the em­­ployee’s attorneys. Anything said in those emails can then be used against you to prove discrimination—or that you tried to set up the employee for discharge because she filed a discrimination complaint.

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A federal judge has granted exotic dancers at a Harrisburg-area adult entertainment club class-action status in their wage-and-hour lawsuit against their employer.

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