Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Costco’s Harassment Policy May Have Created a Binding Contract

Nearly all employment handbooks that are issued to employees upon hiring include anti-harassment policies that conform to federal and state laws. Some employers take their policies further than the minimum standards set by these laws. However well intentioned these practices may be, they may have the unintended effect of creating a legally enforceable contract under certain circumstances. Such was the case in Marini v. Costco Wholesale Corp., brought before the U.S. District Court in Connecticut. In that case, the plaintiff was a 10-year employee of Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Circuit Court Upholds Judges’ Dismissal of Nurses FLSA Overtime Claims

The Pennsylvania Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss the claims of five Philadelphia-area nurses who claimed that the healthcare systems they worked for systematically underpaid them for hours worked. The appeal stemmed from a 2012 trial court’s dismissal of five cases in which the nurses claimed that their employers were in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when they failed to compensate them for the full time that they worked, including overtime. The original lawsuit, Taylor, Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers Report: EEOC Reevaluates Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 made it illegal for employers to discriminate against female employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.  Nearly 35 years later, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is still interpreting the document to ensure that women in the workplace are treated fairly in issues relating to pregnancy. In July, 2014, the EEOC released an updated interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, clearly defining what employers are responsible for providing to pregnant employees. One of the most pivotal points Continue reading →

Employment Lawyers in Philadelphia: Employee Discrimination Protection for Volunteers

A recent case presented to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit brought attention to the issue of what differentiates a volunteer from an employee for the purposes of protection from employment discrimination under Title VII. The case of Sister Michael Marie, et al. v. American Red Cross, involved two Catholic nuns who had been dismissed from their positions as volunteers for the Red Cross and the Ohio Ross County Emergency Management Agency. The two Sisters who belonged to the Order of the Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers Report: Warehouse Workers Denied Pay For Time Spent in Security Check

In what is yet another blow to employees and another victory for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employees do not have to be paid for time they spend in anti-theft screenings following their shift. The case Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, et al., involved temporary workers at Amazon warehouses in Nevada who were employed by staffing agency Integrity Staffing Solutions. At the end of their shift, warehouse workers are required to clock out and then stand in line to be screened in Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers:  Workplace Retaliation Rates on the Rise

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), last year marked the eighth consecutive year of growth for retaliation claims made by U.S. workers.  Moreover, 2013 also was designated as the fifth consecutive year that retaliation claims exceeded race discrimination as the most commonly reported form of workplace discrimination. Several factors may account for the year over year increase of retaliation charges, beginning with the fact that anti-retaliation protection is built into every law enforced by the EEOC. This means that a retaliation claim can Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers discuss Non-Compete Agreements: Is Continued Employment Sufficient Consideration?

Non-compete agreements, or restrictive covenants, have long been disfavored in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania courts have consistently opined that non-compete agreements are a restraint on trade which could cause a significant hardship on employees who are merely trying to earn a living. For a non-compete to be enforceable, it must, at the very least be limited in both time and scope. While the courts have not established a bright line rule, they do agree that overly broad non-compete agreements should be struck down. For example, a non-compete Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers discuss National Survey Finds “Rampant” Religious Discrimination In The Workplace

A 2013 national “Survey of American Workers and Religion” found that 36 percent of respondents had been subject to religious discrimination in the workplace.   The survey questioned workers on issues such as whether the respondent’s workplace required employees to work on the Sabbath or whether they allowed employees to wear attire that expressed the employee’s faith.  More than one third of respondents replied that they had experienced religious bias in their place of employment. The reported religious discrimination was not limited to non-Christians.  While 49 Continue reading →

Philadelphia Disability Discrimination Lawyers: Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disabled workers in Pennsylvania may be protected by both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA).  Pursuant to these laws, an employer cannot act adversely against an employee because the employee has an actual or a perceived disability. In addition, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. Adverse Actions Based on a Real or Perceived Disability In order to have a valid claim for disability discrimination in Pennsylvania an employee must have a disability as defined by Continue reading →

Philadelphia Discrimination Lawyers: What Constitutes Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Title VII prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace by employers with 15 or more employees. State and/or city law may prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace by employers with fewer employees. That means that your employer may not discriminate against you because of your religious beliefs. The law also prohibits an employer from harassing you based on your religious beliefs,  retaliating against you for complaining about religious discrimination, for participating in another employee’s religious discrimination case, or being associated with (i.e., married to) an individual Continue reading →