The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Grocery store cashier Kimberly Bloom asked for Sundays off work for religious reasons. Although the store had a voluntary shift-swap system so employees could trade days with co-workers, Bloom told her boss that religious convictions prohibited her from working Sundays—or from asking co-workers to work for her …

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The best way to prevent lawsuits or to get a quick dismissal of unfounded charges is to document every employment decision carefully. You and your staff should be able to show exactly when a decision was made, who made it and what the basis for the decision was …

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Sometimes, employees who fail to get promoted get it into their heads that they are being discriminated against when that’s simply not the case. Make sure the manager or supervisor who handles such an employee’s next promotion request doesn’t know about the previous complaints—and therefore won’t be in a position to retaliate …

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Have many of your recent promotions gone to members of one sex or some other protected category? If so, take some time now to figure out how that happened. It’s entirely possible that what at first looks like a suspicious “coincidence” that could be misconstrued as discrimination is actually completely innocent …

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Before making a final decision on a reorganization or series of RIF terminations, take a close look at any characteristics the employees losing their jobs might share. A set of terminations that affects only members of a protected class is sure to attract attention …

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The FMLA entitles employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with a serious health condition. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should immediately terminate an employee who can’t return to her job right away. That could violate the ADA …

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Four construction workers will share a $1.65 million settlement for racial harassment they endured while building a Conectiv power plant on the old Beth Steel site in Bethlehem. The men said they had never been on a job site that didn’t feature racial harassment, but the harassment on this site was worse than usual …

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Christian Torres, a New York City rookie police officer, allegedly robbed a Sovereign Bank in Muhlenberg Township on April 11, making off with $113,000. He didn’t get far …

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Keith Harris and Dennis Alexander, who are black, sued Joseph Orlando, owner of Cobra Construction, for constructive discharge and racial discrimination, saying they were forced to quit out of fear for their lives …

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The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down an opinion that may have important ramifications for employers and others who use arbitration agreements to resolve disputes. Although technically not an employment law case, the decision sets some important limits on how arbitration decisions are appealed …

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