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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

The Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collections Law, the state law that requires you to pay workers on time, also says you must pay employees’ legal fees when you violate the law …

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To make a "constructive discharge" claim, employees must show that their working conditions were so intolerable that they had no choice but to quit and that those conditions amounted to discrimination based on age, race, sex or some other protected characteristic. But, as a new ruling shows, an employee’s subjective "fear of future discipline" isn’t grounds for a lawsuit under this constructive-discharge theory …

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The Pennsylvania State Troopers’ Association has filed a lawsuit against the state police, arguing that troopers shouldn’t have to tell their duty desk the specific reason they’re calling in sick. The association alleges that the call-in policy violates the ADA because it may force troopers to disclose a disability …

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Pennsylvania employers that want to make sure their employees don’t come to work under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs should establish a random drug-testing program. State law makes employees ineligible for unemployment compensation anytime an organization bases its firing on employees’ "failure to submit [to] and/or pass a drug test conducted pursuant to an employer’s established substance abuse policy" …

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When it’s time to restructure your workplace, beware the potential legal dangers of transferring employees to jobs that have no growth potential. That could be viewed as an adverse action that triggers a discrimination lawsuit …

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Employers in Pennsylvania have reason to celebrate: A well-educated work force is growing in your state. A new survey ranks the state second in the nation in attracting out-of-state students to its colleges and universities …

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The 3rd Circuit has vacated its decision on the so-called "ministerial exception" and referred the case for rehearing …

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Workplace humor is fine until it drifts into the realm of gags about employees’ gender, race or religion. Even age-based jokes can trigger lawsuits. Although few employees will win age-discrimination lawsuits based on a joke or two, such juvenile behavior can take an otherwise marginal case and give it legal legs …

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The number of Pennsylvania employees under age 65 who are covered by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan declined by 5.1 percent between 1999 and 2005. In the same years, employer-provided coverage for families with children under age 18 declined by 8 percent …

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Pennsylvania mirrors America’s growing diversity in many ways. Today, mosques occupy old churches; co-workers wear burqas and yarmulkes; and some employees request "prayer breaks." Religious diversity is a reason for celebration in a pluralistic society, but it also presents challenges in the workplace …

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