Pittsburgh Employment Law Blog

Are your noncompete agreements reasonable?

As an employer, it is well within your interests to make sure that any intellectual property, as well as loyal clients, are not "stolen" by any former employee after he or she leaves your company. Therefore, it is very important that you include some kind of noncompete agreement in their employment contract.

Occasionally a prospective employee will refuse to sign the agreement. If this happens, you may have concerns and as a result might wonder whether you still want to hire this person. They may pose a risk to your intellectual property and client base. In this situation, make sure to proceed with caution. The refusal to hire them might be permissible depending on the details of the case.

Employers’ anti-discrimination responsibilities

As an employer, it can be a daunting prospect to know what is expected of you when it comes to putting anti-discrimination practices into place. Many employers can feel confused in regard to the standards that they must adhere to and the extent to which they must go in order to ensure that the appropriate safeguards and practices are in place.

This is especially true when it comes to ensuring that discrimination does not take place in regard to employees or prospective employees that are Middle Eastern or Muslim. Discrimination against people based on their race, religion or country of origin is federally prohibited. Employers must make sure that their company is actively preventing this type of discrimination, or they may be vulnerable to discrimination claims.

Employment arbitration: What you need to know

When you become employed with a company, it is standard procedure to sign a whole host of documents and contracts, but often you are unsure of exactly what you are signing. It is important to always pay close attention to what you are signing because you might come to regret it later. This is especially true when it comes to employment arbitration agreements. It can mean that you may be powerless to press legal charges against your employer further down the line.

What is employment arbitration?

Preventing FMLA abuse and disputes

As a Pittsburgh employer, you are required to provide your workers with certain benefits and protections. One of those benefits involves the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It was created to provide workers with unpaid time off to care for themselves and immediate family members in the event of serious illness and certain situations. 

While this benefit is a boon to many, some employees tend to abuse their FMLA benefits. It can be challenging for you to know which workers are misusing FMLA at your expense. Here are some ways you can continue to provide FMLA rights and benefits for your employees and prevent FMLA abuse and disputes

Are you an employee or a contractor?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the employment rights of an employee differ to those of a contractor. Those who have an "employment relationship" are the recipient of many more benefits. Because of this, a problem can occur. Employers often misclassify their workers for the unfair benefit of their business.

This blog will provide information on what defines the role of employees and contractors, and which one you qualify as according to the FLSA. It will help you determine whether you are a misclassified employee.

Preventing getting sued by your employees

Making the decision to fire an employee is never an easy one. Having the conversation with the employee is in itself difficult, but it is also to some extent accepting defeat in the hiring process. You hired someone who was clearly not appropriate for the role, and in doing so, your business has incurred unnecessary hiring costs and spent money on salary that was not correctly utilized.

So the situation becomes even more unfavorable when the employee decides to make a legal claim against you for unfair dismissal. This blog will provide a brief overview into how you can prevent getting into this situation as an employer.

Making sure your independent contractors don't get reclassified

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is hiring an independent contractor and then having that person be reclassified as an employee by the government.

If that happens, you've just been handed a mess involving taxation, benefits, insurance and a host of other legal liabilities.

What PA employers should know about wrongful discharge

As in many other states, employment in Pennsylvania is generally at will. This means that, in the absence of a contract stating otherwise, an employer may fire an employee for any reason, and an employee may quit for any reason.

However, the law also provides certain exceptions to this broad rule. Under some circumstances, terminated employees may have a cause of action against their employers for wrongful discharge. Understanding this concept can help you protect your company from llitigation and other problems. An experienced attorney can help you create policies that comply with the law and safeguard your business.

How to terminate employment the right way

It's never easy to fire an employee. In addition to the difficult conversation that needs to occur, you may also be worried that if any procedure is not followed through properly, that the former employee may seek legal action for improper termination.

This blog will provide a brief overview in how to go through the process of employment termination with an employee, whether the employee has decided to leave the company, or if he or she has been fired.

Some factors to consider before you draft a noncompete agreement

Business litigation is on the rise in the United States. A U.S. federal court statistic from 2012, showed that during that one year, judges made 760 decisions having to do with noncompete agreements (NCAs). That number marked a 61 percent increase over the rate from 2002.

It's believed that the uptick in the use of NCAs in the past few years may be able to be, at least partially, attributable to the fact that it's become increasingly more difficult to find well-qualified and job seeking talent.