The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

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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An 80-year-old secretary who had held her position at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in York was terminated after months of what she claims was harassment aimed at ­driving her out of her job.

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Think ignoring complaints about sexually explicit talk, jokes or inappropriate touching will make the problems go away? Wrong! Chances are the behavior will only escalate.

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A Bethlehem Wawa convenience store violated the FLSA when it refused to provide an appropriate place for an employee to express breast milk, according to investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

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The former manager of the Milk Shake Factory ice cream parlor in Pitts­­burgh has filed a complaint alleging she was fired for disobeying the company’s discriminatory hiring guidelines. When she was hired to manage the store, the company gave her complete autonomy to hire subordinates as long as they were the “All-American girl” type.

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You may think that what your employees do on their own time—at work or socially—is their business. That could be a big mistake. Your company culture may end up as evidence in a race discrimination lawsuit someday soon unless you do something about institutional and social segregation.

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While you may think it isn’t necessary because it seems so obvious, you must warn supervisors that making fun of any impairment is asking for trouble. Remind them that they must focus on performance when criticizing work, even if they believe that an impairment is affecting performance.

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Some jobs require co-workers to get along and support one another. An employee who isn’t a team player may cause enough problems to warrant termination. But “team player” is a subjective term.

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Even if an internal discrimination complaint proves unfounded, you must still ensure that the em­­ployee who complained isn’t punished for doing so. Remind supervisors and the employee that you won’t tolerate any type of retaliation.

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Here’s some advice on creating good disciplinary records: When employees break the same or similar rules but end up with different dis­cipline, make sure your records specify why you believed one deserved harsher punishment than another.

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