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 83
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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Don’t expect to escape unemployment compensation liability if you fire someone for sleeping on the job. If the reason is an underlying medical condition, the employee may be able to prove she wasn’t fired for cause.

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Like many municipalities, the city of Latrobe is struggling with falling revenue. City Manager Rick Stadler attempted to address the city’s shortfall by eliminating six clerical positions, while the Office of City Administration cut two staffers. Now all eight employees have requested an EEOC probe into the terminations to determine if they violated anti-discrimination laws.

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The farmers’ co-op that produces Musselman’s applesauce has settled an EEOC sexual and racial harassment complaint filed by eight Mexican-American women who worked at a factory in Gardners.

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Hilary Koprowski, the Polish-born developer of the precursor to Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine, has sued Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital after it shut down his research lab. The hospital claims Koprowski’s lab doesn’t bring in enough grant money to fund its operation.

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Here’s a step you can take to guard against challenges to your drug-testing procedures. When you tell an employee he failed the test, get him to admit he used drugs. That can ensure he doesn’t receive unemployment compensation.

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The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act is the commonwealth’s companion to federal employment laws such as the ADA and Title VII. The PHRA goes beyond most federal laws because it authorizes personal liability for those who “aid and abet” an act of discrimination. And as one recent case shows, aiding and abetting can include making a serious mistake about a reasonable accommodation request.

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The more control an employer tries to assert over a worker it intends to treat as an independent contractor, the more likely that worker is actually an employee. That’s why you should make sure independent contractors have the leeway to work for others and maintain their own schedules.

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Employers that fire employees right after they return from FMLA leave run a risk that the timing alone will be seen as proof of retaliation. Unless you are absolutely sure you can convince a judge or jury that the termination is justified, it makes sense to wait a month or so.

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Andrew Kurtz, part of a crew of guys who dress as hearty snacks and race around the Pittsburgh Pirates’ stadium at every home game, was canned after criticizing team executives on Facebook. There’s a lesson in here somewhere—perhaps on social media, perhaps on the tricky decision about who to fire when things aren’t going well.

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Two former Reading Police Department employees who are married to each other have sued the city and several supervisors, claiming age discrimination and harassment and retaliation for complaining about municipal government labor practices.

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