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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.

Remind staff: Contractors aren’t employees

The more control you exert, the more likely your organization will be on the hook as the employer in any lawsuit.

Pittsburgh jury awards $3 million in bias case

A scientist who was fired from her job at Pittsburgh Plate Glass has won a $3 million verdict against her former employer.

Break the FMLA shield: Document when you began considering discipline

An employee may think taking FMLA leave will prevent serious discipline such as being terminated. That strategy won’t work if you can show the disciplinary process had already begun before she asked for FMLA leave.

Don’t let disability stop legitimate discipline

It’s reasonable to worry that disciplining an employee who is disabled might trigger a lawsuit. Don’t let those kinds of concerns dissuade you from otherwise legitimate discipline. Courts general allow employers great leeway to punish employees who seem to genuinely deserve it.

Fed contractor settles, was accused of hiring bias

To settle allegations of systemic hiring discrimination, Coastal International Security, Inc. agreed to pay $409,947 in back wages, plus interest.

Alleged tip skimming prompts DOL lawsuit in Lansdowne, Pa.

The U.S. Department of Labor has sued the owner of the Empire Diner & Restaurant in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, after an investigation found willful violations of the federal minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Sometimes, delayed firing won’t stop retaliation claim

Generally, when a worker claims he was fired for engaging in protected activity, the sooner after the protected activity the discharge occurred, the more likely a court will find that the firing was retaliation. But waiting to terminate doesn’t help if you still reference an earlier event.

Only man on the job? That doesn’t prove discrimination

Being the only male among a group of female employees is not enough to win a sex discrimination lawsuit.

When employee complains about bias, always investigate before taking any adverse action

Nothing will doom an employer’s case quite as fast as firing a worker right after she has filed an internal discrimination complaint that was ignored. That virtually guarantees the court will believe there might be some connection between the employee’s complaint and her firing.

No, Title VII doesn’t mention marital status, but it can be the basis of a bias claim

Title VII does not specifically list marital status as the grounds for a sex discrimination lawsuit. But that doesn’t mean marriage cannot play a role in Title VII sex discrimination cases.