Honoring a Giant: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By: Nancy O’Mara Ezold, Esq.   Ruth Bader Ginsburg deeply understood the loss, to all Americans, when any employee, female or male, is denied equal opportunity in the workplace. This giant of a woman and lawyer dedicated her extraordinary life to securing equal treatment for women, and men, under the law. Her passing is a national loss at a time when this country is in desperate need of brave and outstanding leadership.  The greatest contribution to her legacy is to continue to fight to preserve Continue reading →

CAN A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND PREVENT AN APPLICANT FROM OBTAINING AN OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Michelle D. Patrick, Esq.   Background checks are becoming more and more standard in the employment field as employers are increasingly requiring successful completion of a background check prior to the start of employment. What about those who are not necessarily seeking employment but rather are trying to get an occupational license from the state. Does the state run a background check before issuing a license? Can you be denied a license because of a criminal background, regardless of the offense or how long ago Continue reading →

SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS MINISTERIAL EXEMPTION – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR EMPLOYEES OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS?

By: Michelle D. Patrick, Esq.   The First Amendment provides religious institutions a freedom that private and public employers do not have when making some employment decisions. Religious institutions may be exempt from the anti-discrimination laws governing public and private employees under the “ministerial exemption” for its employees who are deemed “ministers.” In 2012, the Supreme Court affirmed that under certain circumstances the ministerial exemption shields religious institutions from anti-discrimination laws and set forth four factors to consider when determining if the exemption applies.  See Continue reading →

Non-Competes Signed During Employment

  By: Michelle Patrick, Esquire For years, courts in Pennsylvania have determined that non-compete agreements signed after an employee was already employed were not enforceable unless additional consideration had been tendered for the non-compete. Retaining the job was not enough to constitute additional consideration.  On June 16, 2020 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified that rule holding that there are situations in which non-compete agreements signed during an employee’s tenure do not need additional consideration to be binding. See Rullex Co., LLC v. Tel–Stream, Inc., 2020 Continue reading →

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS THAT FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW PROTECTS LGBTQ EMPLOYEES IN THE WORKPLACE

By: Jacqueline M. Woolley, Esq. On Monday, June 15 the United States Supreme Court issued a momentous decision in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, declaring it unlawful for employers to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees in the workplace. The Court concluded that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), which protects individuals in the workplace from being discriminated against based on their sex, also protects LGBTQ workers because employers who discriminate against employees based on Continue reading →

NOW WHAT? SCHOOL IS OUT, CAMPS AND DAYCARES ARE CLOSED AND MY EMPLOYER WANTS ME BACK AT WORK

By: Michelle D. Patrick, Esq.   As the country starts to re-open employees are being called back to work. School is over in many places and in the past, employees would have made childcare arrangements using camps or daycares. However, in many areas summer camps are not opening, either now or at all, and daycares are not reopening or reopening in a limited capacity. What can you do, are there any leave options available? The Federal Family Cares Relief Act (FFCRA) was created, in part, Continue reading →

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 →