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Pittsburgh Employment Law Blog

Record keeping is important for businesses

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers several aspects of employment. All employers must have a good understanding of these if they want to protect their company from claims of violations. The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is the entity that oversees compliance for most employers.

On top of providing information about minimum wage, child labor and overtime, the FLSA also covers other topics like paying tipped employees and how employers can consider certain benefits like employer-furnished facilities might be considered part of the employee's wages.

Protect your company from employment liability claims

Your business is your livelihood. Not only this, but your employees count on you. Protecting your company from liabilities, especially those in employment-related areas, is part of your responsibility as a business owner. There are a lot of things that you have to do to try to prevent giving disgruntled employees fuel to use against your company. The last thing that you need now is to have to face a costly and time-consuming lawsuit.

One of the most important things that you can do when you are trying to protect your company is ensure you are classifying employees correctly. You can't name employees as independent contractors just to try to save money on employment-related factors.

Pennsylvania employers have new duty to safeguard employee data

Employers in Pennsylvania need to take note of a new ruling by the state high court that makes them liable if sensitive personal information belonging to their employees is breached and misused.

It's not yet clear, however, exactly what measures employers are expected to adopt as part of their duty to safeguard the information. Right now, the state's laws only require employers (and other holders of sensitive data, like banks, creditors and retail stores) to notify the affected parties that their data was accessed -- basically giving them the ability to be aware of credit theft and other misuses.

Combat claims that you violated labor laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is meant to protect employees, which means that employers must ensure compliance so they don't face claims of mistreatment. There are many things that can lead to employees claiming that employers aren't following this law. In some cases, the issue is that an employee is unhappy with an employment decision you made and files a complaint. It is possible that some claims of FLSA violations against your company might be fabricated.

One thing to remember when you are facing any violations claims, you must do what you need to do to protect your company. You didn't work this hard to build up your business to have a complaint tear it down. We are here to help you learn about the options that you have for addressing these types of claims.

Preventing workplace discrimination claims

Considering the current climate within the country, people are quite sensitive to actions of discrimination. Accusations of discrimination in the workplace can have strong consequences, even if they are not true.

Therefore, discrimination is an important employment law matter. There are a few aspects to be aware of that can help to prevent workplace discrimination claims.

Are you aware of this Appeal's Court ruling?

If you're a Pittsburgh contractor, you strive to limit liability at all costs. But thanks to a November ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, dodging liability will now be more challenging.

The New Orleans Appeals Court judge ruled on Nov. 26 that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can now cite general contractors for the safety violations of subcontractors on the job site regardless of whether the general contractor's employees were involved in the violations.

Take all claims of wrongful termination seriously

Employers must be very careful when terminating employees, especially if the person has made a complaint about something like labor law violations. There is a chance that the worker might claim that the termination was unlawful because it was made in retaliation for the complaint.

There is a fine line that you have to walk in these cases. One of the best things that you can do is to clearly document any issues that you have with the person's work. Put this into their employment record so that you can show that there were problems leading up to the termination.

Fair Labor Standards Act: Find out what's not covered

While there are several things that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to do for their employees, there are many things that aren't specifically required. Many of these things are considered perks of certain positions, but they aren't things that must be done. It is important for you to know these things so that you can ensure your company is protecting its own interests, as well as those of the employees who count on you to earn a living.

The FLSA doesn't cover anything about pay raises beyond the set minimum wage and overtime pay. It doesn't require that employers give employees more pay for weekends or holidays. Nowhere in the standards does it require vacation time, severance pay, holiday pay or sick leave. It also doesn't cover the family wage payment method and timeline or anything related to discharge notices.

Employers must follow labor laws in this country

Employees count on their employers to follow all applicable laws. When the employer doesn't do this, the employee might have to take legal action. There isn't any good reason for companies to try to take advantage of their workers by violating these rules.

One of the most important sets of laws that employers must follow is found in the Fair Labor Standards Act. This was adopted in 1938, has been amended to remain current and covers a host of topics. We can help employees who are being taken advantage of by their employers in a way that violates this act.

  • Pay standards: The FLSA sets the standard for everything from breaks to overtime pay. These aren't merely suggestions, they are required points that must be followed. For example, work done beyond 40 hours per workweek qualifies for overtime pay of at least 1.5 times your standard pay.
  • Classification of workers: Employers must properly classify workers. The FLSA sets standards for who qualifies as an independent contractor and who must be considered an employee.
  • Tip-pooling: Tipped employees can't be forced to share their tips with people who are nontipped. This is a common complaint that workers have that is in violation of the FLSA.

How the government monitors the classification of workers

The federal government finds that companies operating in almost every industry could run afoul of employment laws concerning misclassification of employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor has joined forces with the Internal Revenue Service and various workforce agencies to detect and stop misclassification. 

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