Philadelphia Employment Law News

October 2011 Archives

5 Common Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination and harassment can come in many forms. Because such misconduct may be subtle, it is important to recognize the different types of discrimination in the workplace so that you can protect your legal rights if you have been victimized.

Here is a short list of five of the most common types of discrimination you may find in the workplace:

Are You Protected with Pennsylvania At-Will Employment Laws?

Here is a bit of bad news. Unfortunately, you are not protected under Pennsylvania at will employment laws. That’s because there are no at will employment laws in this state.

So unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise, your employer can fire you for any lawful (e.g.; non-discriminatory) reason and with little or no advance notice. That means that even the most productive, hard-working employee can be dropped at the whim of the employer.

Cracker Barrel, EEOC Agree to Mediate Discrimination Claims

National restaurant chain Cracker Barrel and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agreed to proactively mediate Cracker Barrel discrimination complaints. This means that any time an employee files a discrimination claim with the EEOC against the restaurant, the two sides will mediate the dispute avoiding a lengthy investigation and costly trial.

Cracker Barrel joins more than 200 employers who have signed agreements to mediate with the federal agency, says the EEOC. Under this agreement, the two sides will likely use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve any future disputes.

Hallmark Cashing-In with Layoff Greeting Cards

Last month, we wrote that about half the people in Philadelphia in their 20s were unemployed. Now, with a layoff greeting card, you can send Hallmark condolences to these unemployed people telling them how sorry you are that they lost their jobs.

Greeting card companies like Hallmark are cashing in on the nation’s high overall unemployment rate by developing pre-printed layoff greeting cards of encouragement and sympathy, reports the Los Angeles Times. These cards range from the humorous to the sympathetic.

Philadelphia Sick Leave Required After All?

This summer, Mayor Nutter vetoed the Philadelphia sick leave bill that would have required large employers to provide paid sick leave to certain employees. However, through the efforts of Councilman Wilson Goode Jr., another sick leave bill is winding its way onto Nutter's desk.

The newest sick leave bill would require some employers with city contracts, funding, or leases to provide earned paid sick days, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

PA Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadlines Looming

The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is quickly approaching. Residents in 27 counties, including Philadelphia and Chester counties, may be eligible for the benefit. But to receive the benefit, residents must apply soon.

The DUA program generally provides unemployment assistance to individuals who are not otherwise eligible for state unemployment insurance and cannot work due to a major disaster. Residents who meet the qualification requirements for DUA receive 26 weeks of paid benefits.

What You Should Know About Pennsylvania Wage Payment Law

It’s not the sexiest of laws, but it’s probably the one that affects you the most —the Pennsylvania wage payment law. These payday laws cover when you get your paycheck, how much must be included in your check, and your legal remedies if you are not paid on time.

When you are hired, your employer has a legal duty to tell you the time and interval of when you will receive your paychecks and the rate that you will be paid. For example, your employer has to tell you that you are paid $10 an hour and that you will receive your paycheck every Friday.

Capital Healthcare Solutions Accused of HIV Discrimination

Capital Healthcare Solutions, a Pennsylvania-based health care staffing firm, was accused of disability discrimination by refusing to hire a nursing assistant because he had HIV. Like other forms of disability discrimination, HIV discrimination is illegal and employers who deny job opportunities to people suffering from HIV can face stiff penalties.

The healthcare company offered a conditional job offer to the nursing assistant pending a medical examination, claims the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, the company allegedly rescinded the job offer less than a month later when the examination indicated that the nursing assistant was HIV-positive.

Boys and Girls Club Whistleblower Fraud Case to Move Forward

A judge ruled that the whistleblower fraud case brought against the Boys & Girls Club under the federal False Claims Act will move forward. Samenia Mayer had blown the whistle on organizational fraud last year at the Boys & Girls Club and she claims that she was fired as a result. The judge found that her actions were protected by the False Claims Act and that her case could move forward despite objections by the Club.

Last year, Mayer was hired by the Club to help run a summer mentoring program at Germantown High School, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. While at the job, Mayer claims that she saw several teachers help themselves to the bagged student lunches paid for by a federal grant. She claims that the problem was so bad that students were often left without lunches.