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Employment Lawyer Network:

Susan K. Lessack (Editor)

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Pennsylvania Employment Law

(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.

Making Transfers: Prepare to Prove New Job Isn’t a Dead-End


When it’s time to restructure your workplace, beware the potential legal dangers of transferring employees to jobs that have no growth potential. That could be viewed as an adverse action that triggers a discrimination lawsuit …

New Pa. law restricts use of Social Security numbers


Pennsylvania employers will have to go to greater lengths to keep employees’ and customers’ Social Security numbers private in the wake of new legislation signed by Gov. Rendell this summer …

Earn a new tax break for giving paid leave for organ donation


A new law signed last month by Gov. Rendell, The Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Act, grants employers a tax credit if they offer paid organ-donor leave to their employees. State Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) proposed the bill (HB 153) after hearing how some would-be organ donors would be deterred by potential economic losses from missing work …

Erie representative proposes universal health coverage


State Rep. Linda Bebko-Jones (D-Erie) has proposed a 10 percent payroll tax on businesses and a 3 percent personal income tax to provide universal health care coverage to Pennsylvanians. State Sen. Jim Ferlo, (D-Allegheny) proposed a companion bill earlier in the session …

South Philly cheesesteak icon hit with discrimination charge


Geno’s, one of the two self-proclaimed creators of the Philly Cheesesteak, has been charged with discrimination by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights. The charge stems from a sign in the restaurant stating "This is America … When Ordering Speak English" …

‘Ministerial exception’ isn’t free pass for religious groups to discriminate


If your organization is a religious institution, you may not have adopted anti-discrimination policies or practices because you think you can rely on the “ministerial exception.” But, as a new case shows, that may not always be the case …

At job review, take notes on employee’s comments


DuPont engineer Godwin Igwe filed a discrimination lawsuit, claiming the company denied him bonuses and promotions because of his national origin. But DuPont successfully defended the suit because its records showed that Igwe said he understood and accepted his demotion because of funding cuts in his department …

‘Last straw’ needn’t be egregious to justify firing


Employers often bend over backward to give employees second chances. But when second chances turn into third and fourth chances, you’ll  probably lose your patience and send the employee packing. Some employers, however, wrongly believe that they must cite a particularly serious behavior or performance problem as the last straw before termination. As a new ruling shows, that’s simply not true …

Must We Give Time Off for ‘Witness Duty’?


Q. We have an employee who has been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in a criminal case. She obviously has no choice but to go. Are we required to pay her while she is off, or can we have her take vacation time or an unpaid leave of absence? —C.S., Pennsylvania

Clarify the essential functions before rejecting accommodation bid


You can reject a disabled employee’s accommodation request (or refuse to hire a person) if the individual isn’t able to perform the "essential functions" of the job, even with an accommodation. But many ADA failure-to-accommodate lawsuits hinge on which tasks are considered essential …