The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas faces an EEOC age dis­crimination lawsuit after it dismissed a 70-year-old employee.

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Even a single comment can be enough to keep a sex discrimination case going—especially if the commentator happens to be a supervisor with firing authority.

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If you are going to oppose a former employee’s unemployment compensation application, determine what reasons you will present and stick to them. If you offer alternative reasons during the appeal process, chances increase that the court will allow the benefits.

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Here’s something to include in supervisory training sessions: Warn that negative comments about military service may put the employer on the defensive in the event the employee is terminated.

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Legislators are creating new protections for those who report vio­lations to regulatory agencies.

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A former lawyer in the Delaware County Public Defender’s Office who considered himself a zealous legal advocate has lost his appeal for unemployment compensation in Commonwealth Court.

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Employees who take protected FMLA leave are only entitled to return to their jobs after leave if they are cleared to perform that job. Employers that want a specific fitness-for-duty certification must ask for more than just the certification. They also have to provide the employee with a list of the job’s essential functions for the doctor to use when assessing fitness for duty.

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A federal judge has ruled that Radio Shack owes overtime to its salaried employees even though the overtime calculation method the company uses is legal under federal law. Radio Shack uses the fluctuating workweek method to figure overtime when worker hours vary week to week.

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With collective-action wage-and-hour claims on the rise, employers worry that they may be burned by unpaid work they didn’t even know employees were performing. But a recent appeals court decision provides a rare piece of good news: As long as employees haven’t worked more than 40 hours in any given workweek, so-called “gap time” between hours paid and hours worked doesn’t always mean liability.

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Have an adequate but not outstanding employee? Be careful if he engages in some form of protected activity. Sud­denly deciding he’s not good enough may spark a retaliation lawsuit.

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