The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

The Temple University Health System will have to collectively bargain with a larger group of nurses following a recent Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) ruling.

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Government employees have the right to speak out on matters of public importance without being punished by their employers, but that right has limitations. One of those involves speaking out on issues that are directly related to the job the employee holds.

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The grapevine sometimes is very effective. When an employee decides to sue an employer, chances are he has discussed it with someone at work. That someone may also know that the employee has sued others in the past.

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A newly elected official may want to terminate those employees politically tied to his predecessor—and he often may ask HR how to handle the firings. Because such cases can be close calls, always refer the matter to experienced legal counsel.

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In Pennsylvania, employers that make a promise that an employee reasonably relies on may be liable if that promise isn’t fulfilled and the employee suffers harm as a result. This quasi-contract theory has FMLA implications …

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Sometimes, employees who’ve been terminated go looking for an excuse to sue. And when something as simple as an offhand conversation gets back to the former employee through the grapevine, it could fan flames that turn into a defamation lawsuit.

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Murphy Ford of Chester will pay $244,000 to settle sexual harassment complaints from three female employees. According to a complaint filed with the EEOC, the women complained to management about the dealership’s service manager who used to grab his private parts and make sexually explicit comments.

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A hearing examiner for the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has ruled the Loyalsock Township School District engaged in an unfair labor practice when it failed to release the salary scale the district and teachers’ union agreed upon in the final contract.

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President Obama has issued four executive orders that fundamentally change the government’s policy on federal contracting—in ways that dramatically favor organized labor. Obama signed the four new orders less than 30 days after taking office.

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The federal court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that UPS’ policy of requiring injured employees to be fully healed before they can return to work constitutes discrimination under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

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