The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Some employees may be embarrassed when they experience sex­­ual harassment. They may feel too uncomfortable to come right out and repeat offensive comments they heard. What should HR do?

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Qualified employees who take FMLA leave for their own serious health conditions are entitled to return to their old jobs or equivalent ones once their leave is over. But that’s only true if they are fully healed and able to do their jobs.

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You may have read that stray comments aren’t enough to create liability. That’s true. However, when those comments are “pervasive and regular,” it’s another matter. And the line between stray and regular is anything but clear.

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What do you do if an employee has used up her FMLA leave and her doctor has placed limits on the kind of work she can do? It’s fine to let her return with the restrictions. You won’t later lose an FMLA retaliation case for placing her on light duty.

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“Bring Your Own Device” policies are a growing trend, but can they bite back against employers?

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A recent court case raises a growing issue: Just because a company has a building, do workers need to show up there to get their jobs done?

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Citing last June’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Windsor v. US, federal district judge John E. Jones has invalidated Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. The decision could eventually force employers to revamp benefits programs to include employees’ same-sex spouses.

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Sometimes, there are several ways to  accommodate a disabled employee. As long as the one the em­­­­ployer chooses is reasonable, the employee can’t claim an ADA violation.

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Prompt, fair resolution of harassment complaints is the best way to prevent litigation—and defend yourself if a lawsuit happens anyway.

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Here’s yet another reason to stop employees who sexually harass female co-workers, subordinates or customers: Men who work in that environment but refuse to join in can also sue for sexual harassment. It’s not just the harassed women who have claims.

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