The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Sometimes, an employee does something so outrageous that you have no choice but to fire her. If she sues, you may worry that her past good reviews will create trouble. They won’t if you documented the incident leading to the discharge.

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The Pennsylvania State Police sex-tourism scandal gripping Harrisburg just got even more complicated. Yet another trooper is suing the state, claiming he was passed over for a promotion after testifying in connection with the original lawsuit that blew the whistle on police officials who allegedly traveled to Asia to engage in sex.

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Here’s a simple tip that can save you lots of headaches: Docu­­ment the exact date an applicant submits her paperwork and the date of each decision related to her application.

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Some federal labor laws provide extra incentive for managers to understand how to administer them. The FMLA is one of those laws. It provides for individual liability for those who are responsible for approving FMLA leave and ensuring the employer follows the law on leave and reinstatement.

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A former assistant manager at a Walmart store in Overbrook, Pa., is suing the retailer, claiming it repeatedly violated the FLSA by classifying assistant managers as exempt employees—and he wants to raise the stakes by turning the case into a class action lawsuit.

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Q. Can I consider safety when deciding whether to hire a disabled applicant or retain an employee with a disability?

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When employees quit, always ask them for a written resignation.

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Bethlehem-based KGB-USA has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle charges it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it misclassified 14,568 home workers as independent contractors.

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The EEOC has begun an effort to protect LGBT workers’ rights by broadly interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC’s newly released Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2013-2016 lists “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII” as one of its top six national en­­forcement priorities.

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When a new supervisor arrives and makes changes, criticizes work performance and otherwise challenges old ways of doing things, thin-skinned employees may complain about working in a hostile environment. But just complaining about workplace unpleasantness doesn’t make a winning lawsuit.

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