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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.

Accommodate lactation needs of new mothers

Employers that prohibit necessary lactation breaks or who retaliate against women for trying to take breaks may violate the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII.

Carefully document customer complaints if they might be used to justify termination

If your employees can be terminated because of customer complaints, make sure you have a reliable method for tracking those complaints. Be sure to include as many details as possible.

Workplace fight? OK to punish based on severity of injuries

If two workers fight, employers are free to issue harsher punishment to the worker who inflicts the most severe injuries. Just make sure you document exactly why you believe the more aggressive worker deserves greater punishment.

No-fighting rule? Punish combatants equally

You probably have a rule against any form of violence in the workplace. Make sure you uniformly discipline everyone involved in any altercation.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court tightens data security requirements

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision makes it easier for employees to sue for damages resulting from data breaches of employer data systems.

Joint employer liability for Lansdale, Pa. firm, temp agencies

Fox Bindery in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and various temporary agencies it engaged violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying workers at least the federal minimum wage and proper overtime.

Blocking unemployment may not bar litigation

If you routinely allege misconduct to fight unemployment benefit claims in an effort to thwart subsequent litigation, you may want to reconsider your tactics.

Don’t ‘game the system’ to favor one race over another

Trying to manipulate an otherwise neutral hiring or promotion process can backfire.

Welcome aboard! Never mind! Document why you rescinded job offer

Employers that tell an applicant she’s hired and then yank the offer should be prepared to give a legitimate, business-related reason. Carefully document the reason in case the applicant later sues.

You could be liable for disability bias even if ADA accommodation denial was legitimate

Don’t get overconfident because you turned down an employee’s request for an ADA accommodation that you sincerely believed was unnecessary. You can still be sued—and you might lose!