The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Employees who work for educational institutions on a temporary basis from semester to semester—substitute teachers, for example—may be eligible for unemployment compensation if they are offered a substantially different position (with lower pay) the next term. But if the new assignment is essentially the same as the previous assignment, they can’t refuse the offer and receive unemployment compensation …

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Jeffrey Hawthorne, a Mercer County Children and Youth Services (CYS) caseworker, sued the agency for gender discrimination, alleging his supervisors wanted to create an “all-female work force,” and “treated men differently from women” …

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Tameisha Wilson, of Penn Hills, has filed an EEOC lawsuit against Grand Rapids, MI-based Gainey Transportation, claiming she was subjected to sexual comments, threatening language and unwanted touching after she joined the company as a trainee in October 2006 …

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A Pittsburgh system/supply analyst sued Del Monte Foods for race and age discrimination after being passed over for several promotions despite excellent reviews …

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The state of Pennsylvania is looking for a way to force employers to pay their share of health care costs without running afoul of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) …

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Lincoln, NE-based Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society will pay $285,000 plus a $50,000 annuity to Louella Rollins, a Pittsburgh-area woman who served as state manager for Woodmen in Pennsylvania. Rollins claimed that a man she supervised complained openly about having to work for a woman. She said the employee also grabbed and touched her …

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It’s a doomsday scenario worthy of a movie: A virus spreads around the globe, killing millions and sending millions more to hospitals. Panic ensues, infrastructure breaks down and commerce comes to a halt. But this isn’t a scriptwriter’s invention. Many scientists believe this nightmare is only a matter of time—when the next influenza pandemic hits. What should businesses do to prepare for a pandemic? Employers must be proactive and consider how they will sustain their operation in truly trying times …

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Joseph Rosenfeld, a former community affairs assistant to the mayor of Allentown, lost a workers’ compensation claim for psychological damage he said he suffered because of bad press over his job performance. Rosenfeld was the subject of some 30 newspaper articles in 1996 alleging he had used his political clout to stop the relocation of a bus terminal to financially benefit his family …

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Do you have an employee who doesn’t seem to be getting along with anyone? Has he complained about discrimination or some other supposed wrongdoing? If so, document the problems. If you don’t, you create legal risks …

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Three female employees of the Crazy Horse Steak House in New Oxford will share $40,750 for harassment allegedly committed by owner Nicholas Mavros. The women claimed Mavros commented on their breasts, asked what color underwear they were wearing, invited them to come to a motel to have sex, touched them against their wishes and even put his hands down an employee’s pants …

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