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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.

Using day labor? Keep relationship contractual

03/06/2014

If you sometimes need temporary help, you probably turn to companies that hire and manage day laborers. Keep the relationship strictly professional to avoid potential liability as an employer. Instruct supervisors to defer any questions on pay, hours and potential hiring to the temp agency and remind them not to promise anything.

Let injured worker stay on leave until fully healed

03/06/2014
Disabled employees who return to work before fully healed may be eligible for light-duty positions or other modifications as reasonable accommodations. However, employers that allow leave until the employee is fully healed don’t have that obligation.

Hiring consulting firm to work on site? That cuts your harassment liability

03/06/2014
Here’s some good, sensible news. If you hire a consulting firm and that company works on site, you won’t be liable for harassment between consulting firm employees.

Employee committed firing offense? Terminate ASAP–or else prepare for court

03/06/2014
If you don’t terminate an employee for an obvious firing of­­fense but later use that reason to justify a discharge, you’d better have a good explanation for the delay. Otherwise, a jury may see the move as a pretext for some form of discrimination.

When criminal records are at issue, prepare to explain rationale for firing or not hiring

03/06/2014

Employees who lose a job often don’t believe the discharge reason their employer provides. They look for some apparent underlying illegal discrimination and sue. Smart employers are ready to explain the entire discharge process from beginning to end.

Firing after complaint won’t always prove bias

03/06/2014
Don’t let what you know is a meritless complaint keep you from disciplining an employee. If you can show the process was already under way and you had a solid business reason, go ahead and discipline the worker.

Document exactly why you fired troublemaker

03/06/2014
Do you have an employee who is so disruptive that co-workers repeatedly complain? You may have to fire her. Before you do, carefully document how her behavior negatively affects the workplace and what rules she is breaking.

When is it OK to punish by docking pay?

02/13/2014
Q. May I dock an employee’s pay as a penalty for disciplinary infractions?

Now what? Bad former employee wants a reference

01/24/2014
Q. I received a call from an employee I recently fired, letting me know she listed me as a reference. She was terminated because of performance. Can I disclose that information to a potential employer?

Does workers’ comp cover injuries an employee suffers at a work-related social event?

01/24/2014
Q. Is an employee who injures himself at a ­company-sponsored picnic eligible for workers’ ­compensation?