The Emergency Limitation Periods Extensions for Workers Act

By: Jacqueline M. Woolley, Esq. In an effort to expand employees’ workplace protections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic governmental leaders last week introduced a bill called The Emergency Limitation Periods Extensions for Workers Act, which proposes extending the applicable statute of limitations periods for the filing of claims under certain labor and employment laws.  Specifically, the legislation aims to extend the limitations periods by the amount of time overlapping the COVID-19 national emergency, plus an additional 90 days after the pandemic is Continue reading →

COVID 19 – Is Your Workplace Safe? Do You Have Rights?

By: Michelle D. Patrick, Esq.   As businesses across the country start to re-open, it is time for many of us to return to the workplace. However the workplace we are used to is not, and should not be, the workplace to which we return. It is clear that the coronavirus is not going away anytime soon and experts are recommending that employers implement measures to protect their employees and customers. Examples of protective measures include employees wearing protective equipment and practicing social distancing. What Continue reading →

EEOC CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC GUIDANCE

By: Michelle D. Patrick, Esquire In 2009 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal agency that enforces the federal anti-discrimination laws, issued its “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and Americans with Disabilities Act” (hereinafter “EEOC guidance”) to guide employers and employers during the H1N1 swine flu outbreak. It recently updated and re-issued that document to clarify how it pertains to the Coronavirus pandemic.  EEOC guidance makes it clear that nothing in the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or the Rehabilitation Act should prevent employers Continue reading →

PAID EMPLOYEE LEAVE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

By: Jacqueline M. Woolley, Esq. Employees and employers alike need to be aware of their rights and obligations under the new Federal legislation which provides for paid leave under several circumstances related to the coronavirus. They are described below. If you have questions or concerns, either as an employee or employer, regarding these new requirements you can reach us for legal advice at 610-660-5585. Families First Coronavirus Response Act On March 18, 2020 the United States Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) Continue reading →

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed into Law

By: Michelle D. Patrick, Esq.   On March 18th, 2020 the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“FFCRA”) was signed into law. The goal of the FFCRA is to provide relief to workers during this unprecedented pandemic. Essentially, the FFCRA requires that covered employers, private employers with less than 500 employees and government employers, provide covered employees with emergency sick and/or Family and Medical Leave Act leave (“FMLA”) leave if they are unable to work due to COVID-19 illness or restrictions. For example, the FFCRA applies Continue reading →

BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE: IS IT ILLEGAL?

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. Sadly, the answer is “it depends.” The employment laws in our country do not require that employees treat each other nicely or with respect. Nor do they specifically outlaw bullying. What they do provide is that an employee not be treated differently from other employees because he/she is a member of a protected class. Protected classes include race, age, sex, religion, national original, pregnancy and disability, and under some laws, sexual orientation. Take, for example, a male manager who excludes a Continue reading →

NEW JERSEY LATEST STATE TO BAN DISCRIMINATION BASED ON HAIR

  By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. January 2020 New Jersey has joined the ranks of a handful of states to prohibit discrimination based on hairstyle. In December 2018 video surfaced from South Jersey of a trainer cutting off an African-American high-school wrestler’s dreadlocks. We learned that the teenager was forced to choose between cutting off his dreadlocks or forfeiting his match. One year later to the day, December 19, 2019, the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act” (“CROWN Act”) was signed into Continue reading →

DO NOT RECORD THAT CALL OR CONVERSATION – IT IS ILLEGAL IN PENNSYLVANIA By: Michelle Patrick, Esq.

Have you ever been tempted to, or did in fact, secretly record a conversation between you and your boss or another employee? Did you do it thinking that you were protecting yourself? The fact is that if you recorded a conversation without the other party’s knowledge or consent you have committed a criminal act in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a “two-party consent state” meaning that, under Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act, 18 Pa.C.S. §5701 et seq., recording a telephone call or conversation without both parties’ consent is illegal. Continue reading →

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE WORKPLACE By: Michelle Patrick, Esq.

In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana may be an option for those with a “serious medical condition.” The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act contains a list of serious medical conditions including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD. Employees certified to use medical marijuana cannot be discriminated against “solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana” in the hiring process or during their employment. The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, Section 2103(b)(1). Does this mean that an Continue reading →

PA Federal Judge Allows EEOC to Proceed with Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim

In March of 2015 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal agency tasked with the enforcement of our country’s anti-discrimination laws, filed what could become a historic lawsuit. The EEOC asserted that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s (“Title VII”) provision against sexual discrimination. U.S. EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center involves a gay male employee who was subjected to negative comments about his sexual orientation by his supervisor. The complaint alleges Continue reading →