Employment Law

Thank you for visiting my website. If you have questions about your rights in the workplace, a good place to start is by getting a free copy of my Secret Employee Handbook.

Please take some time and look around. You will find information here about the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and other laws that may provide you rights and protections.

You also find information about employment at will, how to protect yourself from unlawful discrimination, what to do when you’ve been fired, and how the employment litigation process works.

The Gender Wage Gap in Pennsylvania  In recent news, a principal flutist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra has filed suit, alleging that she is paid less than her closest comparable colleague, who is male. Her complaint appears to be the first pay equity lawsuit brought by a leading orchestral musician. The orchestra’s actions may violate the Equal […]

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Both the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (“EEOC”) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”) offer mediation to employees who bring claims of discrimination. The idea is to try to achieve an early resolution of the claims. The reality is that in mediation at this stage, the deck is stacked heavily against the employee. Both EEOC […]

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Google recently fired a software engineer, James Damore, over his 10-page memo, entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” Mr. Damore complained in his memo that Google’s efforts to promote equal representation of women in tech and leadership positions was “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.” Mr. Damore’s memo also voiced his opinion that the reason there […]

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There was a pretty famous case a few years ago that combined two of my favorite things – employment law and beer. It involved the question of whether an employee has free speech rights at work, or after work, that would protect his job. I may have the players wrong, but the basic idea was […]

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Scut Farkus. Recognize that name? He was the neighborhood bully in the movie “A Christmas Story.” He terrorized the neighborhood kids until one fine day when our hero Ralphie brought him to justice. In case you need a refresher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvijyBIgazE Hopefully Scut Farkus grew up to be a decent human being. Unfortunately, some bullies never […]

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A potential client called me this week and described what seemed to be a case of unlawful discrimination at work – violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”).  I’ll call him “Sol” – not his real name. Long story short, Sol was passed over for a promotion, […]

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Preparing for EEOC Mediation and PHRC Fact Finding Conferences When you have a discrimination or retaliation claim before the PHRC or EEOC, you may receive notice that a conference has been scheduled.  At the PHRC this will most likely be called a “Fact Finding Conference.”  At the EEOC, it will most likely be a mediation. […]

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There are some questions that I frequently get from potential clients.  This is one:   Q:  My employer pays me cash for overtime.  Is that legal?   A:  Probably not – for a lot of reasons.   First, if the employer is paying you cash, then neither of you is paying the required federal and state […]

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It seems that I am getting more calls than ever before about sexual harassment in the workplace.  Some say that bosses think they can get away with it now because the economy is bad.  I blame “Mad Men.” For those who don’t know, “Mad Men” is a television show on AMC about advertising executives in […]

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You’re Fired! What’s Next? Most of us have had the experience of being fired.  I was fired from my very first job.  I was in high school, working part-time in a small downtown department store (back in the day when such things still existed) as a janitor. I was there for a couple of months […]

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Signs That Your Employer is Breaking the Law If you have a dog, you know the look – head tilted, eyes downcast, guilty. It usually means “I peed on the carpet and I’m ashamed.” Dogs can’t hide their shame because they are good and honorable creatures. Bosses, on the other hand . . . . […]

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Please note that this article applies to Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania.  Other states may have different rules. Generally the state in which you work is the state in which you should apply for unemployment compensation benefits.  The six things: 1. You don’t get unemployment compensation if you quit your job, unless you can prove that […]

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I get a lot of calls from people looking for the “Pennsylvania Labor Board”.  As far as I can tell, there is no such thing.  Many people seem to believe that there is a PA Labor Board that oversees employment in Pennsylvania and assures that employers treat workers fairly and obey the law.  Unfortunately, there […]

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It is certainly unfair for an employer to fire an employee for no reason.  However, it is not necessarily against the law.  It is perfectly legal for an employer to fire people at random, for no reason at all.  The employer does not have to tell employees why they are being fired, or what the […]

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In this video post, I explain some of the basics of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Please excuse the haircut.  I you need more information about your rights in the workplace in Pennsylvania, I humbly suggest my free Secret Employee Handbook as a good place to start.

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