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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Should you worry every time you retain one employee and dismiss another who belongs to a different protected class? Probably not—as long as there’s no other reason to believe that the terminated employee’s protected status was the reason he was fired.

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It’s always wise to keep careful records showing exactly why you terminate employees. They’re crucial if an employee ever sues. By showing specific reasons why you fired someone, you will be able to show the court that the termination was appropriate.

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Faced with a sick employee, you may recommend short-term disability leave to receive medical treatment. But that could violate the ADA if the employee neither needs nor wants all that time off.

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Employers are always looking for ways to reduce their workers’ compensation costs. Maybe making off-the-books payments to a state official isn’t the best way to go about it …

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When you have to investigate allegations that may lead to termination, it’s a good practice to conduct that investigation as independently as possible. That often means you will have to leave out of the picture any supervisors who have a negative history with the employee.

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Recently, the National Labor Relations Board held that class-action waivers violate em­­ployees’ rights to engage in concerted activity. In D.R. Horton, the NLRB said that employers may not compel employees to waive their NLRA rights to collectively pursue litigation of employment claims in all forums, arbitral and judicial. What does that mean for employers?

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Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana use, even though the federal government continues to classify marijuana as an illegal drug. Pennsylvania hasn’t yet enacted a medical marijuana law, but that could change thanks to legislation that has been introduced in the General Assembly.

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Morgantown-based Morgan Truck Body has been cited for 24 safety and health violations at a factory in Georgia. The citations result from OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which scrutinizes industries with high occupational illness and injury rates.

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Matrix Integrated Facility Management, one of the Philadelphia area’s largest commercial janitorial firms, will pay $450,000 to 15 former employees to settle EEOC race discrimination and retaliation charges.

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Employers that don’t post internal promotion opportunities are risking unnecessary lawsuits. The fact is, when jobs aren’t posted, employees can sue over the lost opportunity to apply.

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