The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 85
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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Lawyers are always looking for new and different reasons to sue employers on behalf of employees and applicants. That’s bad news for employers, because additional charges mean greater legal costs, more lost time and potentially higher jury awards. Fortunately, courts are growing impatient with this practice …

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According to an EEOC complaint, North Carolina-based Professional Building Systems has subjected black employees in Pennsylvania to harassment that included drawings depicting members of the Ku Klux Klan. The complaint also alleges nooses have been displayed in the workplace …

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Perhaps the irony is lost on those who don’t remember the ’60s. Ruby Tuesday Restaurants—named after an early Rolling Stones hit—has been charged with violating the ADEA by refusing to hire applicants over age 40. If allegations by the EEOC are true, Mick Jagger himself couldn’t get hired at the store’s franchises …

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A manager for PetSmart’s Pottstown and Wyomissing, Pa., stores got his employer in the doghouse after he sexually harassed female employees. It seems the manager was something of a beast. When female employees complained, they got the corporate equivalent of “Sit! Stay!” PetSmart failed to address the women’s concerns.

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Daniel Brant liked to curl his eyelashes and wear mascara and heels when he went to his hair-stylist job at the Chop Shop on the Philadelphia campus of Temple University. When his boss transferred him to the salon’s South Street location and later fired him, he sued for discrimination.

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The DOL has set up a special fund to compensate employees who worked at the Westinghouse Atomic Power Development Plant in East Pittsburgh from 1942 to 1944. They and their relatives are eligible for payments under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. Workers at the plant may have been exposed to damaging radiation in the race to build the first atomic bomb.

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Reductions in force are risky, so plan them carefully. Before you try to explain why you’re letting certain employees go, make sure your reasons make sense.

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Employees who complain that a co-worker is being sexually harassed by a supervisor may be engaging in protected activity. That’s because a good-faith complaint may amount to opposition to a discriminatory employment practice. Punishing that employee may then be illegal retaliation.

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Federal and state public health agencies are closely monitoring the H1N1 influenza (also known as swine flu) that was first identified this spring. Since then, every state in the U.S. has had confirmed cases of the virus. It’s not time to panic—but it is time for businesses to think strategically, be proactive and be prepared.

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Some employees with genuine disabilities think they can use their health conditions as excuses to break workplace rules regulating behavior. They can’t, if managers genuinely believe the employee violated the rules, and those rules are clear and equitably enforced.

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