Pittsburgh Employment Law Blog

The rights of nonexempt employees in Pennsylvania

Employers in the state of Pennsylvania can find it challenging making sure that they are giving employees the benefits that they legally deserve. An employee's rights when it comes to pay will depend largely on whether they are eligible for protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Employees who are eligible for protections under the FLSA, otherwise known as nonexempt employees, are generally those employees who do not have a stable salary. As an employer, it is important that you understand how the law works when it comes to paying employees.

Avoid employee misclassification in Pennsylvania

One of the costliest mistakes that employers can make is also one of the easiest mistakes to make. Employee misclassification happens very frequently in companies in the state of Pennsylvania, and it can often lead to issues such as unpaid overtime, that can, in turn, result in legal disputes.

If you are an employer, it is important that you put in place processes in order to prevent the misclassification of workers. This will help you to avoid costly litigation in the future.

Protecting your business for unpaid overtime laws

If you are an employer in the state of Pennsylvania, it is likely that you employ some workers who are eligible for overtime. Workers eligible for overtime are those who are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

If you, as an employer, do not pay employees what they are legally entitled to, you may face legal sanctions. This is why it is important that you take action to understand how the FLSA protects workers. It is a good idea to understand the law fully and to establish which employees are eligible for overtime.

Common questions about making an appropriate firing

As an employer, there will be times when you need to fire an employee. This is always an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation to be in, but when it is done unprofessionally, it can have legal implications, too. This is why it is important that you understand when a person can be fired without risking legal complications.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to firing employees in the state of Pennsylvania.

4 things employers can do to prevent racism in the workplace

When you run your own business, you want it to be as successful as possible. Not only do you want to succeed financially, but you want the everyday operations of your company to thrive. You desire for your employees to work in a happy, comfortable and safe environment. 

Unfortunately, racism is still a prevalent issue that plagues many workplaces. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to combat race, color and gender discrimination at your business. Here are some easy actions you can take to ensure your business is an accepting place to work. 

Drafting a noncompete agreement in Pennsylvania

As an employer, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to avoid litigation. This can be successfully achieved through conflict resolution if a problem occurs between you and an employee. However, a more effective way to avoid litigation is through thorough planning of the hiring process of new employees. By drafting hiring documents and contracts, you can prevent disputes from escalating further down the line.

Noncompete agreements can be an invaluable way to secure your power as an employer. This means that you can retain the integrity of your business and protect it from competitors. However, it is very important that you make sure that these agreements are drafted in a way that ensures their validity.

Should I be paid when traveling for work?

If your job requires traveling to different locations in order to work, your travel costs might be significant. In addition to this, you might spend a lot more time traveling to some work locations than others. This will likely lead you to wonder whether you have the right to be compensated for the time spent traveling.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) initially did not fully address the question of whether travel time should be considered as hours worked. Therefore, an amendment was created called the Portal-to-Portal Act, in order to clear this issue up.

How to appropriately fire an employee during maternity leave

When an employee is pregnant or taking leave as a new parent, they are protected under some parts of the law from being discriminated against or fired. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 makes it unlawful to fire a person because they exercised their right to take leave.

While an employer cannot fire an employee simply because they are pregnant or because they took leave under the FMLA, this does not mean that they cannot be fired during this period for other legitimate reasons. Therefore, if you are considering firing an employee while they are on maternity leave, it is important that you understand how the law works in the state of Pennsylvania. You should have a plan so that you are not accused of wrongful termination or discrimination.

Employers need to ensure they do not discriminate with paychecks

Recent discussions in the media have highlighted the persistent pay gap between men and women in the United States. The so-called "gender pay gap" exists not only in industries in general but between men and women in particular roles. This means that as an average, men get paid more than women per hour in roles that they are both equally qualified for.

Gender pay discrimination is unlawful, and although it can be difficult to bring to court, employers need to be mindful of equal treatment of employees at all times. Employers may become vulnerable to litigation involving the Equal Pay Act of 1963 if they do not do everything they can in order to address gender pay equality in the workplace.

3 tips to protect your business from wrongful termination suits

Firing someone can be a difficult process. While you know you are making the right decision for the wellbeing of your organization, you may fear some backlash. If your former employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit, you may face a lot of legal and financial headaches.

Thankfully, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent yourself from being on the receiving end of a wrongful termination suit. Here are some best practices for avoiding wrongful termination claims.