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Pennsylvania

Employment Lawyer Network:
Pennsylvania

Susan K. Lessack (Editor)

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Pennsylvania Employment Law

LessackS@PepperLaw.com
(610) 640-7806

Click for Full Bio

Susan K. Lessack is a partner in the Berwyn and Philadelphia offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP. She concentrates her practice in employment counseling and employment litigation. Ms. Lessack’s experience includes counseling employers on matters related to compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws, counseling regarding employee discipline and terminations, conducting investigations of employee conduct, including harassment, training employers on their obligations under employment laws and litigation avoidance, and developing employment policies. She defends employers in litigation of employment discrimination claims, wrongful discharge claims, and claims under federal and state employment-related statutes, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law.

Title VII covers nontraditional beliefs, too

04/22/2021
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on their religious beliefs. That sounds simple enough. Almost all managers know they can’t fire someone because they’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other mainstream religion. But Title VII also protects less well-known belief systems.

Document reason for every act of discipline

03/25/2021
Always record the facts of every incident that warrants discipline, including the exact reason you chose to punish the employee the way you did. It’s the best way to head off an employee lawsuit alleging she was disciplined harshly because of some protected characteristic.

Double wages due for ignoring FLSA pay rules

03/18/2021
When the Department of Labor catches employers underpaying employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the penalty is to pay the amount owed—and then double it. If the underpaid employee hired an attorney to plead her case, then the employer may end up paying those legal fees, too.

Disability is no excuse for breaking work rules

12/10/2020
Workplace discrimination laws don’t give a free pass to employees who violate legitimate work rules. Don’t let fear of being sued stop you from disciplining workers who deserve it.

Last-chance agreements protect your firing rights

10/22/2020
It makes sense to give a second chance to good employees whose performance is slipping because of personal challenges. You can protect against future lawsuits by imposing a formal last-chance agreement that says any subsequent transgression will result in termination.

Defeat bias lawsuits with well-crafted policies

09/10/2020
One of the best ways to beat employee allegations that they were disciplined or fired because of discrimination: Show the court you have comprehensive policies on discipline that you enforce consistently.

Individually assess each disability claim

08/06/2020
The ADA has been on the books for 30 years, but some employers still don’t understand one of the law’s basic requirements: They must conduct an individualized assessment every time an applicant or employee claims a disability.

Prepare for ADA suits driven by health fears

07/09/2020
Simultaneous health and financial crises have given us all plenty to fear. Surely you are doing your best to prove to employees that your workplace is safe. Most will be assured. However, a small subset of workers may remain paralyzed by safety concerns.

Inspect remote worksites to uncover hidden harassment

07/02/2020
Harassment—sexual and otherwise—often flourishes in remote work locations where there is little direct supervision. One of the best ways to rein it in: routine, unannounced workplace visits by HR.

Prepare for more suits claiming unsafe work

06/25/2020
Lawsuits over working conditions that promote injuries, contagion and illness are likely to skyrocket in the coming year.