The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 2
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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

It is crucial for HR to follow up regularly with a worker who has complained of discrimination to see if she has any possible retaliation to report. Something seemingly as minor as a changed schedule or slightly reduced hours can be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit.

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In Pennsylvania, employment is presumed to be at-will, meaning employers can terminate workers for any legal reason or no reason at all. There is one exception, however. The so-called public policy exception provides protection from termination if an employee files a workers’ compensation claim.

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When responding to a harassment complaint, be sure to let the worker who complained know what steps you are taking. Acting behind the scenes while telling your employee to “deal with it” himself is one of the worst things you can do. That’s courting a retaliation lawsuit.

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GET-UP, an organization allied with the American Federation of Teachers union, has been attempting to organize graduate student teaching assistants at the University of Pennsylvania. Independently of the university, grad students opposed to unionization formed a group called No Penn Union.

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Snack food giant Utz Quality Foods has agreed to pay $2.5 million to almost 1,900 delivery drivers to resolve claims it failed to pay them overtime.

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Here’s a sure way to lose in federal court: Take a pregnant worker off your automatic scheduling program because you worry that she might go into labor and inconvenience your business.

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If an employee sues her employer and suddenly faces increased scrutiny, she may argue that she’s being retaliated against. She would have an even stronger case if the employer was singling her out for extra scrutiny.

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Even if you think you have a rock-solid reason to fire someone, don’t count on it as an airtight defense against every lawsuit. Your rationale might, for example, be an excellent defense against an age discrimination claim, but not against an FMLA claim.

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If an employee says she is going to need FMLA leave as soon as she becomes eligible, terminating her may amount to interference with the right to take FMLA leave. That’s true even though she wasn’t eligible for leave when she was fired.

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Some employee speech on social media may end up classified as protected activity if it can legitimately be classified as a protest against what would be illegal discrimination under laws like Title VII.

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