The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law, Author at Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Some employers like to keep résumés and applications on hand just in case they need to fill a position on short notice. But running frequent ads to generate up-to-date résumés can backfire if you end up terminating someone, even for good cause. He might try to argue that your ad proves you were planning to fire him even before the supposed triggering event occurred.

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Employees with disabilities who are also eligible for FMLA leave have limited protection from discharge if they miss work because of complications related to their disabilities. However, employers also have a legitimate right to expect workers to show up for work most of the time.

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An employee may claim her job is so stressful that she can no longer work and should receive workers’ comp benefits. That claim can succeed—if a court concludes that “abnormal” working conditions caused the stress, anxiety or depression that made it impossible for her to work. But whether work is really abnormally stressful is a fact-specific question.

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When a worker claims she experienced sexual harassment and sex discrimination, how you handle it may determine if you will eventually face a lawsuit. Any hint that the employee was punished for coming forward will probably result in litigation.

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The former head of the Perry County, Pennsylvania Probation Office faces two third-degree felony theft charges after he gave himself an advance for work to be performed.

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Stoltzfus Structures—an Amish-owned light construction company in Chester County—will pay $188,572 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 47 employees.

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A bill before the Pennsylvania General Assembly would make Pennsylvania one of the states most hostile to noncompete agreements. Pennsylvania House Bill 1938 would prohibit all “covenant[s] not to compete,” other than those resulting from the sale of a business or the dissolution of or dissociation from a partnership or limited liability company.

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Workers who are fired for breaking a workplace rule generally aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s because rule-breaking may constitute willful misconduct, which bars benefits.

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Sometimes, a long-term and apparently successful employee may not adjust well to a new supervisor—especially if that supervisor brings new or different performance expectations about the employee’s job.

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Some workers may feel that being given a difficult assignment is discriminatory, especially if others outside the worker’s protected class don’t have to do similar work. Having a business-related reason for the assignment will persuade a judge that discrimination wasn’t a factor.

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Employers can drug test employees as part of a safety program. The mere existence of a properly designed testing program does not invade a worker’s right to privacy.

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When investigating sexual harass­­­ment, make sure you document every interview, including any with the alleged harasser. That way, if you end up discharging the alleged harasser, you minimize the chances that he might win a defamation lawsuit against your organization.

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Employees who are out on FMLA leave don’t enjoy any special protection against being fired for unrelated reasons. If you can show you would have terminated the worker even if she had not taken FMLA leave, chances are the termination won’t be seen as FMLA interference or retaliation for taking FMLA leave. However, such a move will probably trigger a lawsuit anyway.

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Remember, any supervisor comments about a worker’s complaint can end up supporting a retaliation claim.

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The Trump administration’s Department of Labor is aggressively going after employers that fire workers who report alleged workplace safety violations. It’s one reason to seek expert legal advice before disciplining any potential whistleblower—even for behavior or poor work performance that seems unrelated to any safety report.

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Talula’s Garden, the renowned farm-to-table restaurant in Philadelphia’s Washington Square, will have to pay 63 workers $197,917 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages.

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A federal judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania has signed off on a $1.6 million agreement between snack maker Snyder-Lance and its route drivers.

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In Pennsylvania, case law says employers should balance an employee’s privacy interests against the need for random drug testing.

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Sometimes, employers and employees decide to settle a workers’ compensation claim. But don’t assume that will put an end to the matter—unless you have expert legal help drafting a complete release of any and all claims.

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Keeping close track of why one individual earns less than another goes a long way toward defending against Equal Pay Act claims.

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