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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

It isn’t unusual for disappointed applicants to file frivolous failure-to-hire lawsuits. Your best shot at a quick dismissal is proof that the applicant wasn’t qualified. An application or résumé can do that.

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If a former employee sues after being fired for poor performance, his attorney will almost certainly ask to look at past performance appraisals. Any that indicate the employee had previously been doing a good or excellent job may be used against you as proof the employee was fired for illegal reasons.

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Making comments about someone’s illness is both rude and unprofessional. It may also be the basis for a lawsuit. That’s reason enough to warn supervisors and managers against discussing medical problems related to FMLA leave

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With the end of the year approaching, you’re probably assessing 2012 performance and planning for 2013. As you take stock of the past and set future directions, take the time to review employment agreements and policies designed to protect your intellectual property assets.

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Here’s a good reason to make sure pregnant employees don’t experience bias: The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act protects against pregnancy discrimination and holds personally liable anyone who aids or abets discriminatory practices.

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When the 2011 baseball season ended, Philadelphia Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro fired Ali Modami, the team’s batting practice pitcher. Now Modami has filed a $100,000 defamation suit against Amaro and the team.

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The EEOC is suing Amerisource-Bergen Corp., claiming the pharmaceutical distributor violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act when it failed to hire a 60-year-old man for a telecom manager position.

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The Camp Hill-based Rite-Aid drug store chain will pay $250,000 to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation complaint filed by an epileptic former worker at one of its Maryland facilities.

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You can’t control everything that happens in the workplace. Despite your best efforts, a supervisor might still harass your employees. That doesn’t mean you’re defenseless. A good sexual harassment policy, thorough training for everyone and prompt action can save the day.

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Do you regularly audit your HR records for signs of hidden bias? Would you know if members of a particular protected class were getting fewer promotions than others? The start of the new year is the perfect time to identify and correct any problems.

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