The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

You might worry that people who don’t speak English well won’t be bound by contracts such as arbitration agreements. If applicants or employees can’t read an agreement, it would seem logical that they couldn’t agree to the terms. You have little to fear …

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Employees have to pay 7.65% of their wages in Social Security taxes, while employers pay a matching 7.65%. Independent contractors have to pay the entire 15.3% themselves. But what happens if an independent contractor is misclassified and should really be an employee? Can the individual sue her putative “employer” for the 7.65% the company should have paid? …

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Employers are supposed to make sure that harassment doesn’t happen—and stop it if it does. But sometimes, the employee complaining the loudest may actually be part of the problem. If that’s the case, the responsible thing to do is to stop all the harassment, from all the participants …

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Eighteen workers filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) against retail hardware supplier Crown Bolt in August to protest racist graffiti in the Carlisle warehouse where they worked …

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Attorney General Tom Corbett is investigating more than 135 Pennsylvania residents who allegedly bought diplomas from a business in Spokane, Wash., that sold high school diplomas and college degrees under the name Saint Regis University …

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The Altoona City Council fired Police Officer Herrick Johnson on Sept. 10 for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met online. Johnson, 49, met the girl through a web site that promoted law enforcement careers …

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The Pennsylvania Department of Labor (DOL) has ordered Lebanon-based Pennsylvania Counseling Services (PCS) to pay $196,477 in back wages to 203 mobile employees who were improperly classified as exempt from overtime …

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An investigation by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) revealed that restroom attendants at numerous state fairs in western New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were not only unpaid, but were forced to give 50% of their tips to their employer, Easton-based Portlock Maintenance Systems …

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It’s tough to keep up on all the latest changes in employment law. Busy HR professionals have to handle day-to-day problems and make sure new rules and regulations make their way into that routine. But it’s vital to be up to date on new regulations relevant to your industry. Otherwise, you could face extensive, expensive and needless litigation …

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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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