Category: Discrimination

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Philadelphia Passes Wage Equity Bill

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In an effort to close the wage gap between men and women, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed a bill preventing employers from asking applicants about their salary history. The Wage Equity Bill makes Philadelphia the first major American city to ban employers from asking candidates what they were paid at previous jobs. Companies in violation of the new ordinance face fines of up to $2,000.

The bill, first introduced in September 2016, is designed to eliminate the income disparity between men and women. According to a 2015 United States Census Bureau report, women make 79 cents for every dollar that men make. This discrepancy exists regardless of experience, education, or industry. The Pew Research Center also reports that as of 2015, women earn 83% of men’s hourly wages.

The rationale behind the bill is that if women are paid less than what they deserve at beginning of their careers, and potential employers base their salary on previous jobs, they will never catch up to their male counterparts. Though similar legislation already exists in Massachusetts, Philadelphia is the first major city to ban salary inquiries. New York State and Pennsylvania are also considering passing wage equity bills.

The City Council passed the bill with a unanimous vote, but it is already experiencing some pushback from one of the city’s largest employers – Comcast. The media giant, with headquarters in Center City Philadelphia, has already vowed to challenge the ban in court on grounds that it violates employers’ free speech. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce also opposes the bill, saying it gives the perception that the city is “anti-business,” and discourages new employers from setting up shop in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Clients in Wage Disputes

The team of Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green understands the complexities of employment law matters. Our attorneys represent employees in all aspects of employment law, including wage disputes. Call our Center City Philadelphia offices today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

We serve clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area including Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and the towns of Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Wynnewood, Darby, Narberth, Upper Darby, Sharon Hill, Cheltenham, Clifton Heights, Folcroft, Lansdowne, Drexel Hill, Elkins Park, Havertown, Glenolden, Ardmore, Gladwyne, Wyncote, Norwood, Holmes and Haverford, as well as New Jersey.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers: Arbitration Clauses Not Always Enforceable or Advisable

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Arbitration is an alternative to litigating in court and it may lead to a cheaper and more expedient result. It also may be favorable to both sides in certain situations, particularly when it concerns two equal parties with access to equivalent resources saving time and money for all concerned. However, arbitration is often a disadvantage when the playing field is not level,  and for that reason, it is a common tool used by big business against consumers and employees.

Recently the American multinational technology conglomerate, Cisco, tried to force a lawsuit by one of its employees into arbitration and lost in San Francisco Superior Court. An employee filed an age discrimination claim against Cisco. The company responded by stating that the employee had given up the right to sue when she signed her employment contract because it included a clause that said any disputes must be settled by binding arbitration. However, the clause about arbitration was buried within a form that was mainly about intellectual property claims – something every employee must sign in order to be able to work at Cisco.

Judge Harold Kahn ruled that in effect, Cisco had surprised the employee with the arbitration requirement by putting the language in one paragraph on page five of a seven page, single spaced document about proprietary information. Moreover, the language stated that the employee was also obligated to pay half the costs of any employment disputes that went to arbitration, which is against California regulations.

Arbitration is a Common Practice for Companies

Cisco is not the only company trying to use arbitration to its advantage. Wells Fargo is still recovering from the scandal that broke when the practice of opening multiple accounts in a customer’s name without their knowledge became public. Victims seeking justice were forced into binding arbitration by the bank. The original accounts had a clause about arbitration which the bank said also applied to any subsequent disputes. Due to the fact that most results of arbitration cases are not a matter of public record, the scale of the Wells Fargo scandal was kept under wraps for longer than it would have been in a court of law.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Defend Those Being Forced Into Arbitration

Consumers and employees need to be aware of arbitration clauses because they are extremely common. At Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, we have experience representing consumers and individuals in arbitration matters, and in court.

If you have a matter that is in arbitration, or you are concerned about signing a contract with an arbitration clause, please feel free to contact the Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C.. Call us at 215-574-0600 to schedule an appointment or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.



Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Sexual Orientation Discrimination

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In a recent groundbreaking ruling, a Pennsylvania district court found that discrimination based on someone’s perceived sexual orientation falls under the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The individual involved in the case was a homosexual man employed as a telemarketer by Scott Medical Health Center. The lawsuit alleged his manager made offensive and unwanted comments to him about his sexual orientation several times a week. He further claims that he was asked explicit questions and was exposed to homophobic slurs. The man claims he reported the conduct to the health center’s president, but no action was taken to stop the harassment. Ultimately, the man says that he was constructively discharged because the treatment he endured created a hostile work environment.

The defendants moved to dismiss the claim on the grounds that perceived sexual orientation was not protected under Title VII.  However, the court ruled against defendants, finding no meaningful difference existed between sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination because of sex. The court noted that sex stereotyping included assumptions about how a person’s sexuality should conform to their sex and gender. The court ultimately likened the plaintiff’s experience to that of a female employee who is told to dress more femininely, or wear make-up and jewelry in order to achieve promotion. The court cited recent decisions across the U.S. Courts that have increasingly been finding that sexual orientation is a Title VII protected trait. The court also drew from the Supreme Court opinion legalizing same-sex marriage.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Employees in Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Claims

If you have suffered an adverse employment action such as failure to hire, termination, or denial of a promotion on the grounds of your sexual orientation or because of your gender, you may have a valid discrimination claim. Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green will fight back against injustice. We seek maximum compensation for damages suffered as a result of discrimination. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online today.