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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.

Philadelphia real estate firm accused of pregnancy bias

11/08/2017

A Philadelphia-area real estate investment firm that owns and manages apartment communities, retail shopping centers and professional office buildings faces an EEOC lawsuit after it fired an employee shortly after she disclosed she was pregnant.

Male government biologist files gender bias complaint

11/08/2017

A U.S. Forest Service biologist working in Pennsylvania claims he is being discriminated against because of his sex.

Track all leave taken, even after FMLA ends

11/08/2017

If you generously provide extra leave for employees who run out of FMLA leave, be sure to document it. Should the employee later accuse your organization of FMLA retaliation, the fact that you approved subsequent leave can demonstrate your good faith.

Remind bosses they must never criticize employees for taking FMLA-covered leave

11/08/2017

Employees who find themselves criticized for lower productivity or missed deadlines because they were out may have a legitimate FMLA interference or retaliation claim.

Always get employee’s permission to record conversation about complaints

11/08/2017

Here’s a reminder for Pennsylvania employers: Before videotaping or otherwise recording an investigation into an employee complaint, get permission to do so. Otherwise, you may face a wiretapping criminal charge.

3rd Circuit confirms: Pay for short breaks

11/08/2017

When an employer in Pennsylvania revamped its break program by requiring workers to log out, it also decided the breaks would be unpaid. That flew in the face of decades of Department of Labor guidance—and provoked a lawsuit.

Wife’s jealousy no excuse to freeze out women

11/08/2017

Is spousal jealousy grounds for firing members of a particular sex? According to a recent federal court case, the answer is no if that jealousy is directed to a group of employees rather than one specific worker.

Manage schedule change after harassment

11/08/2017

One response to reported sexual harassment is to separate the alleged victim from the alleged harasser. However, if the separation includes a schedule change, the victim may claim that amounted to punishing her for reporting harassment in the first place.

Wrong about FMLA abuse? Your honest belief counts

11/02/2017
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers that struggle with employees who misuse FMLA leave—particularly intermittent FMLA leave. The court held that an employer’s honest belief that its employee misused FMLA leave was sufficient to defeat an FMLA retaliation claim, even if the employer was mistaken.

Not every ‘safety’ fear amounts to whistleblowing

10/30/2017
In Pennsylvania, workers are protected for whistleblowing. However, the law has specific requirements. For example, the worker’s complaint must be “objectively reasonable” and not merely a complaint about some perceived safety issue.