The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Employers that lean heavily on interviews to decide which of two equally qualified candidates to promote should make sure they can later explain the selection process. That means asking participants in panel interviews to take and collect notes on what the interviews covered and how well the candidates did …

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Pennsylvania employers can terminate most at-will employees for any or no reason as long as the firing doesn’t violate state, local or federal law. However, there is a narrow “public policy” exception that protects some at-will employees …

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In 2000, Jeffrey Paich was hired to manage the Nike Factory Store in Mercer. A year later, Debra Sweda became Paich’s supervisor. Over the next four years, Sweda was inundated with complaints about Paich’s temper and his treatment of women …

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The Foot Locker chain of athletic shoe stores will pay a former cashier $90,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. Jeleana James filed an EEOC lawsuit alleging she was harassed and groped while working in an Upper Darby Township store …

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A federal jury has awarded $1.2 million to 12 teachers who sued the Elizabeth Forward School District in Allegheny County for age discrimination. The teachers alleged they were hired at the lowest pay scale because they were older women …

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In the wake of New Jersey’s recent passage of family leave legislation, more state legislatures are considering bills that would require paid family leave. Fourteen states, including Pennsylvania, will consider mandatory paid family leave this year …

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Inevitably, your organization will have to conduct a workplace investigation. It may be because an employee has alleged discrimination, or perhaps someone has stolen something. Whatever the reason, an investigation is in order—and you have to get it right. An inadequate investigation can do more harm than good …

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Some jobs are more dangerous than others if employees can’t perform them safely. For those types of positions, you can require periodic physical exams and suspend employees found to have physical problems that could increase the likelihood of an accident. If you do so, you don’t have to worry that you’ll violate the ADA …

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A Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations panel has ruled that the English-only signs greeting customers at Geno’s Steaks, the famous South Philly cheesesteak shop, do not violate the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance …

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Fourth-generation farmer Keith Eckel, owner of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms in Clarks Summit, has said he will no longer grow tomatoes because he can’t find enough workers to harvest them. Eckel, Pennsylvania’s largest grower of fresh-to-market tomatoes, hired mostly Mexican laborers to bring in past harvests …

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