Philadelphia Employment Law News

April 2011 Archives

Philly School District May Lose 3,820 Employees In Layoffs

The Philadelphia School District may lose 3,820 employees, which comes out to about 16 percent of its staff, in expected layoffs due to the current "unprecedented" fiscal crisis the city is facing with its $2.7 billion deficit. Officials stated that the district is expected to make even tougher cuts including taking away full-day kindergarten.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch told the School Reform Commission (SRC) that the school district would also have to make cuts in other areas, such as with counselors and alternative and gifted education, to help close Philadelphia's $629 million gap.

Woman Claims Lenny Dykstra Stripped During Job Interview

As some Philadelphia residents may have heard, former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra, 49, has faced a couple of controversial lawsuits during his time away from the field, including allegations that he bounced a $1,000 check to a female escort in December.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported Dykstra's former housekeeper also accused of him of sexual assault in January, claiming he forced her to perform oral sexual favors every week. The housekeeper said she initially followed his requests because she "needed the job and the money," although she ended up leaving the job.

After attempting to look for another housekeeper, Dykstra may now also face a potential lawsuit from a prospective hire.

Philly Now Bans Criminal Record Questions On Job Applications

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter recently signed an ordinance prohibiting employers from asking about a prospective employee’s criminal record on a job application. My Fox Philly reported the legislation will apply to both private employers and city agencies, which Nutter says will make it easier for ex-offenders to be considered for a job “without harmful preconceptions.”

The National Employment Law Project found that 90 percent of employers use criminal background checks, while one in four Americans, or 65 million people, has a criminal record. But according to ESR News, the new measure prevents employers from making any personnel decisions based on an applicant’s record of arrest that did not result in a conviction.

Two District Employees Fired In Whistleblowing Case

District employees John Byers, a procurement director, and Francis Dougherty, who worked under Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery, were both initially suspended at the end of last year for whistleblowing information on a contract switch from a white-owned enterprise to a black-owned one.

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman had placed the two men and four other employees on a two-week paid leave this past December as Pepper Hamilton LP investigated the issue regarding the “apparent inconsistencies in the distribution of prime contracts to vendors.”

But the Philadelphia Daily News reported Byers and Dougherty were ultimately fired at the end of March after an investigation that lasted for several months.

Professor Jack Rappaport Suspended For Lap Dances During Lecture?

La Salle University professor Jack Rappaport, 57, was suspended after reports surfaced alleging he provided more lap dances than educational knowledge during one of his lectures. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Rappaport had hired strippers to perform during an extra-credit seminar on March 21 at the school’s satellite campus in Plymouth Meeting.

Two unnamed students said the women were dressed in miniskirts or bikinis and were present since the beginning of the lecture. About 30 students were in class that day, all of whom each had to pay $150 to attend the session, which focused on “the application of Platonic and Hegelian ethics to business.”

PA Teamsters Rally To Fight Right To Work Bill

As many Philadelphia locals may have heard, the Pennsylvania State Capitol was filled with nearly 400 laborers who gathered together for a Teamsters rally against a right to work bill introduced by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe last week.

Metcalfe proposed a series of legislation that would stop mandatory union membership for employees in the state government, businesses, and educational institutions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He contended that it was unfair to force employees to pay dues and join a union that could promote views they might personally oppose.

McDonald's Plans To Hire 50,000 New Employees In 1 Day

Unemployed Philadelphia residents eager for a job might be pleased to hear that McDonald’s has recently announced it is planning and organizing a national hiring spree of 50,000 new employees for just one day for all its restaurants in the United States, according to CNN Money.

McDonald’s latest job announcement is one more indication that the job market in the United States is gradually improving, considering the U.S. government recently announced an increase of 216,000 jobs last March. The jobs gain ultimately dropped the unemployment rate to 8.8 percent, which is the lowest level it has reached within the last two years.

Robert Duffy Faces Sexual Discrimination And Retaliation Lawsuit

Some Philadelphia locals may have heard about the recent lawsuit filed against Marc Jacobs CEO Robert Duffy, accusing him of creating a “discriminatory working environment” at the label’s headquarters in New York.

The suit, which was filed in Manhattan’s Supreme Court, claims the fashion company’s former chief operating officer, Patrice Lataillade, was fired after he voiced his issues concerning Duffy, whom he claimed used the label’s money for his own personal benefit and made staff do pole-dances for him.

According to The Daily Mail, Lataillade seeks an unspecified amount of damages for retaliation, discrimination, humiliation, and mental anguish.

North Penn School District Considers Stricter Rules For Teachers

The North Penn School District (NPSD) might implement a policy prohibiting teachers from sharing any information about their personal lives with students or information about their jobs with the public. This follows a blogging controversy involving a Bucks County teacher who was suspended in February for her posts online.

NBC Philadelphia reported that the district began considering the proposed policy after high school teacher Natalie Munroe from Central Bucks East High School admitted to venting about students on her blog. Munroe expressed her true sentiments about her students in her posts, such as saying one student was "academically ok" but had "no other redeeming qualities." And worse. Much worse.