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 →

Philadelphia City Council Passes Bill Intended To Aid In Promoting Equal Pay

On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a prospective employee for refusing to provide wage information. Continue reading →

When Should You Call an Employment Attorney?

Are you having a problem at work? Should you call an attorney now or should you just wait and hope that things will get better? Many times employees choose the latter and call an attorney after it is too late. We often get calls after someone has been terminated and already signed a severance or separation agreement, in which case it’s too late and there is nothing we can do for you. The exception to that situation is for employees over the age of 40 Continue reading →

Can a Pennsylvania Employer Refuse to Hire an Employee Based on the Results of a Background Check?

Employers are increasingly using criminal background checks as another tool in deciding whether to hire employment applicants. This can be a problem for an employee with a criminal background regardless of the nature of the crime or how much time has elapsed since it was committed. In Pennsylvania, employers must abide by the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) in deciding whether to hire an applicant based on their criminal background. Employers are permitted to require a criminal background check but they can consider felony Continue reading →

2016 Revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act

What Nonprofits Need to Know Ezold Law Firm answers the 11 key questions you’ve been asking about how new federal regulations expanding overtime benefits will impact nonprofits.* To view our fact sheet, click here. For more information, call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Ezold Law at 610-660-5585 or contact us online. *As referenced by The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University’s School of Business  

Pennsylvania Protections for LGBT Employees

Protection for Employees in Pennsylvania Who Are Discriminated Against Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression and Gender Identity On April 7, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed two Executive Orders in an attempt to further combat discrimination in Pennsylvania. The Executive Orders prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity. Executive Order 2016-04 prohibits State agencies under Governor Wolf’s authority from discriminating against state employees based on sexual orientation, gender expression and/or gender identity. Executive Order 2016-05 expands that prohibition Continue reading →

Minimum Wage Changes in Pennsylvania: Are They Enough?

In what can been seen as a victory for some Pennsylvania employees, Governor Tom Wolf recently signed an executive order setting the minimum wage for state government employees at $10.15 per hour. With the current minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, this is an almost $3 per hour raise. The Governor’s order applies to employees who work for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and employees who perform services or construction for the Commonwealth. The Order will take effect on or after July 1, 2016. Unfortunately, this Continue reading →