What Are the Rules on Retaliation – Can I Discipline an Employee Who Has Previously Complained About Discrimination?
Being an employer requires multiple hats. Aside from day-to-day business operations and long-range planning, employers have to hire and fire employees, investigate workplace complaints, and discipline employees for improper actions. Throughout each of these tasks and others, it is critical to act consistently with state and federal labor and employment laws. Those who don’t follow […]
Stolen Employee Data: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision Breaks New Ground
In late 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that employees may sue employers for the release of stolen confidential employee data. The Court’s decision in the Dittman vs. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, allowed University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) employees to bring a class action for negligence after a data breach from UPMC’s computer […]
What is garden leave?
by Thomas Rees, Esq. | October 31, 2018 What is garden leave (also known as ‘gardening leave’)? The term sounds pastoral, but its use is practical. Very simply, it is an agreed-upon period when an employer pays a departing key employee not to work before the employee joins a competitor. Originating in England, it […]
You Must be a Current Employee to Review your Personnel File!
July 18, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that only current employees have the right to review their personnel files under the Pennsylvania Personnel Files Act. This decision in Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 162 A.3d 384 (Pa. 2017), does not […]
Watch out for Non-Hire and Anti-Poaching Agreements!
June 27, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire You are the CEO of Company A, a cutting-edge developer of new software. Over golf (or sushi), you agree with the CEO of equally cutting-edge Company B that each of you will not hire or try to hire away the other’s top talent. Is anything wrong with […]
Update on the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance
May 23, 2018 By James B. Shrimp The Ordinance On January 23, 2017, the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance (“Ordinance”) was signed by the Mayor. The Ordinance made it unlawful for any business that employs individuals in the City of Philadelphia to (1) inquire about a job applicant’s wage history (“Inquiry Provision”); or (2) to rely […]
April 4, 2018 Over the course of your professional career, you may have been required to sign a non-compete agreement, and if you haven’t yet, then now is a good time to learn about these somewhat common and important documents. Oftentimes you will be presented with a non-compete agreement when you are starting a new […]
Pay Me Now… or Pay Me (Much More) Later!
December 12, 2017 By Eric G. Marttila When an employment relationship ends – whether by termination or resignation – employers must be aware of their obligation to pay any wages then due and owing, or be prepared to suffer the substantial consequences. Under Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) 43 P.S. §260.1 et seq., […]
Protests and Discipline in the Private Workplace: It’s More Complicated than a Tweet
October 17, 2017 By James B. Shrimp On September 23, 2017, at a purported campaign rally for Senator Luther Strange, President Trump made the following extemporaneous comments regarding the National Football League, its owners, and its players: Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get […]
It is a Violation of Federal Law for an Employer to Require an Employee to take a Polygraph…No Lie!
It is a Violation of Federal Law for an Employer to Require an Employee to take a Polygraph…No Lie! August 29, 2017 By Eric G. Marttila Nearly 30 years ago, on June 27, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA or Act). The Senate Report, which led to the law’s enactment, […]
Hey Boss, Give Me the Tips I Earned! Not So Fast.
August 8, 2017 By James B. Shrimp There is a common misconception that an employee that works for tips – e.g., restaurant and hotel workers – are always entitled to the tips they earn. However, this is not true if the employer pays you at least minimum wage. Legal Background The Fair Labor Standards Act […]
Child Care Workers’ Challenge to Firing for Reporting Abuse
July 25, 2017 By Thomas D. Rees, Esq. On May 23, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an important employment law decision, affecting everyone who works with children. In Krolczyk v. Goddard Systems, Inc., ___ A.3d ___, 2017 WL 2255554 (Pa. Super. May 23, 2017), the Court allowed ex-employees to sue for wrongful discharge after […]
Can a Potential Employer ask about Salary History?
July 11, 2017 Searching for a job is often a stressful and exhausting process. Applicants often find themselves filling out application after application and crossing their fingers for a call back. Perhaps one of the most daunting questions, despite its relatively straight forward nature, is the dreaded question requesting salary at the applicants last job. […]
Second Circuit Upholds NLRB’s Reinstatement of Employee Who Posted Profane Blog About Boss’s Mother
June 27, 2017 By Thomas D. Rees Two years ago, I blogged about a National Labor Relations Board decision restoring an employee’s job after the employee posted a profane blog about his supervisor’s mother- “Can You Insult Your Boss’s Mother at Work and Avoid Dismissal? Maybe so!” After a recent Second Circuit decision, we can […]
Cutting the Ties: What You Need to Know About Severance Agreements
June 13, 2017 Separating from an employer, even in the best of circumstances, can be a stressful transition. When the separation stems from a termination or layoff, however, the unexpected nature of the transition only serves to amplify the stress. It is at this highly stressful time that you may be faced with the decision […]
Compensatory Time Coming to a Private Employer Near You?
May 10, 2017 By James B. Shrimp Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1180, entitled the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (“WFFA”). Consideration of the WFFA is now onto the Senate. The WFFA will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to permit an employer, at the employer’s option, to provide […]
Sexual Orientation Discrimination: The Legal Jumble
April 5, 2017 By James Shrimp Imagine getting married, legally, on Saturday and then getting terminated by your employer on Monday because of who you married? For members of the LGBT community that is a possibility for which currently there is no, or very limited, legal recourse. But the tide may slowly be changing. On […]
The Oscars®, March Madness and Work: How Does an Employer Manage Distracted Working
March 8, 2017 By James Shrimp As most of you know, at the Oscars® Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie for the Best Picture Award. In the initial hours after the show, many held Warren Beatty accountable (including me), because he clearly recognized something was wrong with the card – but showed […]
“Subgroup” Disparate Impact is a Basis for Age Discrimination Claim
January 17, 2017 By James B. Shrimp For any business contemplating a reduction in force (“RIF”) it is no doubt a difficult process given the knowledge that you are going to layoff a significant number of employees. From a business perspective, for businesses in PA, NJ and DE, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has […]
Alert: Federal Judge Prevents Implementation of New Overtime Rule
November 23, 2016 By James B. Shrimp Last evening, a Federal Judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction to prevent the implementation of the new overtime rules on December 1, 2016. It is possible that the Judge’s injunction will be overturned by next Wednesday, however, such a decision would have to come from the Fifth […]