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 89
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The HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law

Whistle-blower statutes are designed to protect employees who report their employers for violating civil regulations or criminal laws. But that can seem like a risky proposition for employees, who may fear that reporting their employer to the authorities could cost them their jobs. That’s why whistle-blower laws exist …

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The financial services firm Vanguard Group has settled a racial discrimination complaint with the EEOC for $300,000. The case involved Barbara Alexander, a black applicant for a financial planning manager position at a Vanguard office in North Carolina. The company is headquartered in Malvern.

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Employees often sue for discrimination when they suffer harsher discipline than co-workers did. You can counter those bias claims by having clear records that show how you decided on the specific discipline each employee received. Explain why the punishments were different.

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Once again it’s time for "March Madness." If your workplace is like many, talk of NCAA tournament picks and the Final Four will be everywhere, as well as bets on the games. While office pools are a lot of fun, they also can present some risk for employers. Consider having a written policy regarding workplace gambling to prevent things from getting out of control.

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The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects employees from discrimination based on pregnancy and related medical conditions. It doesn’t, however, let new mothers take off work when child care arrangements fall through, as the following case shows.

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Employees sometimes assume that if their employer approves a request for disability leave, they must be disabled and are therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations when they return to work. That’s simply not the case. Many times, what’s called “disability leave” is really FMLA leave, based on the employee’s serious health condition. But those conditions are frequently temporary and wouldn’t qualify as a disability under the ADA.

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Some employees who break rules believe they’re immune from firing if someone else committed the same infraction and didn’t get fired. That’s simply not true. What may be a firing offense for one employee doesn’t have to be the last straw for every other employee. The key is to document—at the time—why you made the decision so you can later explain the difference between the two situations.

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When stress is a built-in part of the job, it stands to reason that sound mental health is a prerequisite. Someone whose psychological disorder interferes with the ability to perform such a job isn’t qualified and can be terminated.

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Child care is expensive, and many parents eager to avoid high day-care costs ask their own parents to watch the kids. That’s great if it works out. But in Pennsylvania, grandma and grandpa can’t expect to collect unemployment benefits if they quit their jobs to take care of their grandchildren.

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The Ruby Tuesday casual dining chain has agreed to pay $255,000 to a group of teenage girls who worked at its East Stroudsburg restaurant after the EEOC filed a lawsuit accusing a manager there of sexual harassment.

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