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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

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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.

Email meant for wife goes to boss, costs unemployment

06/09/2015
Sometimes it’s the little things that sway court decisions. A former em­­ployee of the Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities was denied unemployment compensation benefits after department managers demonstrated that he had repeatedly used work computers for personal business.

After FMLA leave, watch timing of firing

06/09/2015
Generally, employees who take FMLA leave are only entitled to their job back if they are able to return to work right after their 12 weeks of time off expires. Imme­­di­­ately terminating the employee without a good reason may backfire, because it could be seen as retaliation for taking leave.

How do we prevent negligent hiring claims?

04/29/2015
Q. I recently read an article about employees who were attacked or harassed at work by other employees who never should have been hired in the first place. How can an employer reduce its risk of liability for negligent hiring?

Is it ever OK for a boss to change a time sheet?

04/29/2015
Q. Is it illegal for managers to change exempt or nonexempt employees’ time sheets if they neglect to indicate that they took a day off?

Court moves FedEx ADA case to Pittsburgh

04/29/2015
Over EEOC objections, a trial to determine whether FedEx discriminated against deaf employees has been moved from Baltimore to a Pittsburgh courtroom. FedEx sought the change of venue, noting that its headquarters and those responsible for developing company policies on training and accommodation are based in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania hospital becomes a ‘no nicotine’ employer

04/29/2015
On April 1, Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill began refusing to hire anyone who tests positive for nicotine use.

Contesting unemployment? Be sure you have been fair

04/29/2015
Employees discharged for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. Generally, refusing an assignment is willful misconduct. But what it you only fire one and not others who refuse the same assignment?

Use last-chance agreement so you and your employee can push reset button at work

04/29/2015
In cases where you may be concerned about a lawsuit over firing an employee, consider instead a last-change agreement. Think of it as hitting the reset button. Both the employer and the employee have one last chance to save the relationship.

Prepare for legal trouble when bosses play detective with employees on FMLA leave

04/29/2015
Train all supervisors about the FMLA. Instruct them to refer any perceived problems to HR. Direct supervisors should not, for example, conduct their own “investigations” into whether an employee is abusing intermittent FMLA leave by conducting surveillance or taking other intrusive steps. Doing so may net a lawsuit alleging interference with FMLA rights.

NLRB rules against Pennsylvania-American Water

04/29/2015
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Pennsylvania-American Water Co. violated the National Labor Relations Act when it disciplined two Pittsburgh-area workers for refusing to cross a picket line. The board also censured the company for removing a union letter from a bulletin board.