Pittsburgh Employment Law Blog

What the FLSA says about employing young people

Young people in the workplace have certain laws in place in order to protect them, but they are also subject to lower minimum wage requirements because of their lack of experience and to increase their employability.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is in place to protect employees and keep regulations consistent throughout the United States. It is important, therefore, that employers in the state of Pennsylvania understand exactly what the FLSA demands of them so that they do not make any mistakes that could lead to expensive litigation.

Hiring practices that help you avoid employment litigation

When you are going through the hiring process, it is likely that you are most concerned with the task at hand: to employ someone who adequately suits the role you are trying to fulfill. However, there are many other factors that come into play when going through the hiring process. The early stages of the hiring process are perhaps one of the most key stages where you can take action to prevent future issues, such as employment litigation.

If you are going through a period of hiring as an employer in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important that you take the time to learn more about how solid hiring practices can save you time and money in the long run.

Avoiding litigation when creating compensation agreements

As an employer, one of the most important parts of your job is hiring the right people and making sure that they are successful at what they do. One of the key tools in helping you to do this is the employment contract. When drafted correctly, this can help you to be empowered as an employer to manage your business correctly.

In addition to employment contacts, many employers also opt to create compensation agreements, which many believe are valuable ways to explain the rules of employment, motivate employees and reward great talent. With contracts such as these, however, there can be a danger because if they are not adequately enforced, costly litigation processes might result.

Making layoffs without legal backlash

As an employer, you will likely go through cycles of expansion and contraction. Sometimes the strength of your industry will mean that you need to hire large quantities of people to meet demands, and other times you may find yourself losing money while employees have little work to perform.

When you find it financially necessary to make layoffs, you are in your rights to do so. However, you need to make sure that you are acting within the law at all times. That way, you will not face any legal backlash from disgruntled former employees. Lawsuits can be costly regardless of whether you win or lose. Therefore, it is always best to reduce your potential risk for one.

3 tips for avoiding overtime lawsuits

As a business owner, you have a duty to pay your employees overtime when they work more than 40 hours in one workweek. You must adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act and all relevant regulations by the United States Department of Labor. 

If you violate overtime rules, your workers may sue you. Here are three tips for avoiding an overtime lawsuit as an employer:

Reacting to a harassment complaint as an employer

All employers receive complaints from their employees at some point in time. While complaints might be centered on working hours, working conditions or pay, they can also involve issues such as harassment allegations involving other coworkers.

If you have received a complaint about harassment taking place in your workplace as a Pennsylvania employer, it is important that you take an allegation like this very seriously. If you do not have an adequate process in place, you may find yourself becoming involved in a costly lawsuit unnecessarily. The following are some important tips to help you avoid costly litigation as an employer in Pennsylvania.

How unconscious bias training can help employers

Making judgments quickly through generalization is part of the human psychology. To process information quickly and efficiently to make decisions throughout the day, the brain tends to create stereotypes that are shaped by experiences and information absorbed over a lifetime. This information that the brain uses to create generalizations may be true or false, and it is often unconsciously held. It frequently comes from dubious sources such as our parents' beliefs and what we've seen on television.

Therefore, we all hold unconscious biases. This might shape our unconscious attitudes toward any person whom we consider different from us. When people's unconscious biases shape their behavior in the workplace, this can be problematic and can contribute to the creation of a hostile environment with toxicity and disputes.

Make sure that you are not liable for employing underage workers

As an employer, it is likely that you employ people at many different levels, from experienced seniors to entry level workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has put in place many measures for making sure that workers are not employed too young, and that children are protected from performing hazardous or stressful jobs.

If you are an employer of entry level workers in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important that you understand exactly how the law works so that you can prevent your company from unintentionally breaking the law and stop costly disputes from arising.

Defending your business against a retaliation accusation

As an employer, it is inevitable that you will occasionally have to deal with employee disputes. While these disputes are probably impossible to avoid completely, it is possible to deal with them in an effective and successful way if you have the right mindset and procedures in place.

There are very compressive protections in place for people who have made a complaint in the workplace. However, while retaliation after a complaint made in the workplace is always unlawful, this does not mean that there are not lawful and completely legitimate reasons to penalize an employee during this post-complaint period.

Do your employees know what counts as sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new, but the media attention it has been getting the last few years is. Employees are no longer staying quiet about the inappropriate and frightful behaviors they encounter on the job, and social media has made it easy to call out offenders, which, in some cases, can lead to legal accountability.

With the spotlight on this charged topic, now is the time to ensure your employees have proper training on what counts as sexual harassment. Otherwise, you can find yourself involved in a lawsuit.