The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

The key to winning co-worker harassment cases is to show that you took swift, just and effective action as soon as you learned about the harassment. The following case proves that’s a winning strategy …

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State Deputy Attorney General Thomas Kimmett has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and other state officials, claiming he was denied a promotion because he reported what he considered an illegal practice by the AG office and the state Department of Revenue …

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Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services in Richland will have to defend itself before a trial court against a pregnancy discrimination suit filed by ex-employee Barbara Stager. In court, Stager produced e-mail exchanges between company managers that referred to Stager as “high maintenance” and called her a “princess.” “Let’s see if we can nip this,” a director wrote under the subject line “FMLA.” …

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Robert Diamond, the fired worker charged with killing two employees at Simon & Schuster’s distribution center in Bristol on Aug. 1, said he had been harassed by co-workers and was upset about being reprimanded in March for calling a black co-worker “boy.” …

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Abdel Moniem Ali El-Ganayni, a nuclear physicist, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), claiming it revoked his security clearance and fired him because of his ethnicity, his Muslim faith and his criticism of the war in Iraq …

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It may sound logical and reasonable, but it took a federal appeals court to decide it once and for all: An individual can’t sue for discrimination and win when it’s crystal clear he lacks an essential job requirement and therefore isn’t qualified for the job …

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The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a covered disability or to discriminate because of a perceived disability. An employer’s belief that an applicant or an employee has a disability—even if she does not—is enough to trigger liability if the employer acts on that belief and refuses to hire or discriminates based on the perceived disability …

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By now you know that employers can’t fire or otherwise punish employees because they’re pregnant. But what about employees who choose to have an abortion? Make sure your supervisors know it’s illegal to discriminate against them, too.

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A bill approved by the state House in June—the Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act—would make intentionally misclassifying workers as independent contractors a third-degree felony for employers in residential or commercial construction. Cases of negligence would constitute a summary offense …

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According a recent Zogby International survey, 37% of U.S. workers report that they’ve been bullied at work. Not surprisingly, they say, the overwhelming majority (72%) of bullies are bosses. Workplace bullying is harassment that’s not necessarily based on an employee’s protected characteristic, such as gender or race. But, unlike harassment based on a protected class, bullying may not be illegal …

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