The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Many companies fail to align their handbooks with the realities of their business. As a result, they end up with a handbook that does more harm than good. Here’s what they should include.

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The Philadelphia-based Chickie’s and Pete’s sports bar and restaurant chain has agreed to settle charges it stole tips from employees and failed to pay the federal minimum wage.

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A federal judge has agreed to dismiss racial discrimination claims leveled against the Harrisburg Area Com­­mu­­nity College by a black woman who was twice turned down for a position as vice president.

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Disabled employees are entitled to individualized assessments of their limitations so em­­ployers can determine if a reasonable accommodation is possible. It’s crucial to be flexible.

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When bad romance spills over to the workplace, you don’t have to put up with the aftermath. Set strict rules about behavior and don’t tolerate loud arguments, threats or other disruptions.

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It’s up to employees to decide how much they want to divulge to co-workers about their FMLA leave. Warn bosses never to discuss an FMLA request with those who don’t need to know about it.

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Sometimes, employees with serious medical conditions need more than 12 weeks of FMLA leave to fully re­­cover. Employers that choose to provide more leave or determine that it would be a reasonable accommodation to do so can extend the time off. But the employee loses some rights in the move.

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When someone has surgery or undergoes extensive medical treatment, it’s fairly common to have temporary and lingering problems with energy levels, memory and general feelings of wellbeing. But these don’t make the employee disabled under the ADA.

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Employers should be careful to design training programs that make training opportunities available for all. But sometimes, an employee won’t be able to participate in training. In those cases, be prepared to explain why.

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Make sure you set one standard for determining how late “tardy“ is and how it’s measured. The best bet: Use a time clock.

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