The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

For the most part, you are free to set and enforce grooming and dress standards for your employees. But here’s an angle to consider when disciplining colorful employees: You must make sure you apply the rules evenhandedly. Don’t single out anyone who belongs to a protected class for special enforcement of the rules …

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The EEOC has filed a sexual harassment, race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Murphy Ford Lincoln-Mercury in Chester. The lawsuit alleges the dealership ignored complaints about a manager who sexually harassed three female employees …

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Malvern-based Vanguard Group has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle an EEOC race discrimination case with Raymond Ross, a former information systems manager. In 2003, Ross filed two EEOC complaints. Vanguard fired him one day after the company received news of his second complaint …

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Fernwood Hotel & Resort, located in the Pocono Mountains, tried to bar the details of a supervisor’s alleged assault on a saleswoman from her sexual harassment suit, but the courts ruled the allegations are key to the woman’s case and will remain in her complaint … 

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Stephen A. H. Keefer, former director of information technology for Pennsylvania’s House Democratic Caucus, has filed a wrongful termination suit, alleging he was canned to take the heat off House Majority Leader William DeWeese …

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The price of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is going down this year. Gov. Ed Rendell accepted the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau’s recommended rate schedules, which decreased workers’ comp premiums by an average of 10.22% …

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The FMLA is undergoing change. In early 2008, Congress made the first significant amendments to the law since it was enacted almost 15 years ago in 1993. Only a few weeks later, the U.S. Labor Department published proposed changes to its FMLA regulations …

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It can happen before anyone in HR even realizes it: Managers or supervisors begin hiring applicants with ethnic or national backgrounds similar to their own. If you notice an unusually high number of similar employees concentrated in a division or section, it’s time for real efforts to make sure your staff fairly reflects the makeup of the overall work force …

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Employees who agree that they want an arbitrator to handle their absenteeism claims shortly after they have been disciplined can’t later file a federal FMLA or New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) claim …

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If your organization uses seniority as a factor in making promotion decisions, make sure you think through what sort of seniority you really want to use—company seniority or job seniority. Make sure managers and employees alike understand which type of seniority counts for promotions …

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