Category: Employment Law


Do Employers Need to Supply Employees With a Handbook?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Protect Your Business

An employee handbook is often viewed as a quintessential component of any organization. However, is it legally required for employers to provide their employees with a handbook? The short answer: no. There is no explicit legal obligation for businesses to have an employee handbook. However, the value and benefits of having a well-drafted handbook should not be underestimated.

Why Employee Handbooks Are Important?

While not legally mandatory, there are compelling reasons why employers should consider providing their employees with a handbook. An employee handbook is a central repository of an organization’s policies and procedures. It clearly communicates the expectations, rights, and responsibilities of both the employer and the employee.

Without written policies, misunderstandings can arise, leading to conflicts, decreased productivity, and potential legal issues. Employers can ensure that all employees receive consistent information by documenting policies in a handbook. This also helps to foster a sense of fairness and transparency within the organization, thereby boosting morale and engagement.

What Should Be Included in an Employee Handbook?

A practical employee handbook should cover a broad spectrum of topics that pertain to the workplace. Here are some key areas that should be included:

  • Company culture and values: This section allows businesses to introduce their mission, vision, and values, setting the tone for the work environment.
  • Employment policies: This includes details about work schedules, attendance, performance reviews, promotions, and termination procedures.
  • Compensation and benefits: Information about salary structures, bonuses, raises, health benefits, retirement plans, and vacation time should be clearly outlined.
  • Workplace conduct: This encompasses rules regarding dress code, harassment, discrimination, and other related issues.
  • Safety and security: Policies related to workplace safety, emergency procedures, and data security should be explicitly stated.
  • Legal rights and obligations: This includes information about compliance with federal and state employment laws.

When creating an employee handbook, it is crucial to incorporate several legal matters to ensure the company’s operations align with the law and protect the company and its employees. Here are some critical legal topics that should be addressed:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): Companies must adhere to EEO laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. The handbook should clearly state the company’s commitment to EEO principles.
  • Harassment and discrimination policies: A comprehensive policy against harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, should be included. The policy should define what constitutes harassment, provide examples of prohibited behaviors, and outline the procedure for reporting and investigating complaints.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): If your company is subject to FMLA, policies regarding leave entitlements for eligible employees due to medical and family reasons should be clearly articulated.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. The handbook should outline your company’s commitment to comply with ADA regulations.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): This act regulates minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. Your handbook should include policies regarding work hours, breaks, compensation, and overtime to ensure compliance with FLSA.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations: Employers must provide a safe working environment. Your handbook should include policies on workplace safety, injury reporting, and emergency procedures.
  • At-will employment: If you operate in an at-will employment state, it is crucial to include a statement that employment is at-will, meaning that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time.
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs): To protect your business’s proprietary information, the handbook should include policies about confidentiality and non-disclosure.
  • Social media and electronic communication policy: In the digital age, it is important to have clear guidelines about the company’s acceptable use of social media and electronic communication.
  • Drug-free workplace policy: If applicable, include a policy that promotes a drug-free workplace.

The Role of a Lawyer in Drafting an Employee Handbook

Given the legal implications associated with various aspects of employment, a lawyer should assist in drafting an employee handbook. A lawyer can help ensure the handbook is comprehensive and compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.

A lawyer can help articulate policies clearly and unambiguously, reducing the risk of misinterpretation. They can also keep the handbook updated to reflect changes in the law, protecting the company from potential legal pitfalls.

Furthermore, a lawyer can help create a handbook customized to the business’s specific needs and circumstances. They can advise on handling sensitive topics, such as harassment and discrimination, in a manner that aligns with best legal practices.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Protect Your Business

There are many employment laws you need to follow. For legal help with getting a compliant handbook and policies, speak with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Wrongful Termination: How to Recognize it and What to Do About it

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Protect Your Rights if You Have Been Wrongfully Terminated

Wrongful termination is an unfortunate reality. Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or laid off for illegal reasons or violates a contract. Some common examples of wrongful termination include:

  • Discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristics.
  • Retaliation for reporting harassment, discrimination, or other workplace misconduct.
  • Breach of an employment contract.
  • Firing an employee for exercising their legal rights, such as taking medical leave or filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Recognizing Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination can be challenging to identify, as employers often try to disguise it as a legitimate dismissal. Here are some warning signs that may indicate wrongful termination:

  • Sudden or unexpected termination without a clear reason.
  • Negative treatment or comments about your protected characteristics, such as race or gender.
  • Retaliation after reporting workplace misconduct.
  • Dismissal shortly after exercising your legal rights.

If you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated, you must talk to an HR representative or a trusted supervisor to discuss your concerns.

What to Do About Wrongful Termination?

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and seek justice:

·        Consult with an employment lawyer: An experienced employment lawyer can help you understand your rights, evaluate your case, and guide you through seeking compensation or reinstatement.

·        File a complaint with a government agency: In the United States, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s labor department. These agencies investigate wrongful termination claims and may help you negotiate a settlement or pursue legal action.

·        Negotiate a severance package: In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a severance package with your employer. This could include financial compensation, continuation of benefits, or other terms that can help you transition to a new job.

Wrongful termination can be difficult and complex, but understanding your rights and taking appropriate action can help you achieve justice. If you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated, ‌seek legal advice and explore your options.

Possible Damages for Wrongful Termination

When a person has been wrongfully terminated, they may be entitled to various types of damages, depending on the circumstances of their case and the applicable laws in their jurisdiction. Some potential damages that an individual could receive include:

  • Back pay: Compensation for lost wages from the date of termination until the date of judgment or reinstatement. This includes salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other income the employee would have earned during this period.
  • Front pay: Compensation for future lost wages in cases where reinstatement is not possible or appropriate. This is usually awarded when it is determined that the employee will face difficulty finding a comparable job due to the wrongful termination.
  • Loss of benefits: Compensation for the value of lost employment benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and stock options.
  • Emotional distress: Compensation for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the wrongful termination. This may include damages for anxiety, depression, humiliation, or other psychological impacts.
  • Punitive damages: Awarded in cases where the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious to punish the employer and deter similar behavior in the future.
  • Reinstatement: In some cases, the court may order the employer to reinstate the wrongfully terminated employee to their former position.
  • Attorney fees and costs: If the employee prevails in their wrongful termination claim, they may be awarded attorney fees and other legal expenses associated with pursuing their case.
  • Other damages: Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, additional damages may be awarded, such as compensation for damage to the employee’s professional reputation, job search expenses, or relocation costs.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Protect Your Rights if You Have Been Wrongfully Terminated

Wrongful termination can happen in various ways. If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, speak with our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. to discuss your potential legal options. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Your Rights

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Protect Your Work Rights.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific family or medical reasons.

FMLA leave can be taken in various scenarios, including:

  • The birth of a child and bonding with the newborn within one year of birth.
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and connecting with the child within one year of placement.
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a severe health condition.
  • A serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing their job.
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of a spouse, child, or parent being on covered active duty or called to covered active duty in the Armed Forces.

In addition, the FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the servicemember’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin.

How Much FMLA Leave Is Available?

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 work weeks of FMLA leave in 12 months. To qualify, you must:

  • Work for a covered employer: private-sector employers with 50 or more employees, public agencies, and public or private elementary and secondary schools.
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive).
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the start of the leave.
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

What Conditions Qualify for FMLA Leave?

A qualifying serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility.
  • Incapacity for more than three full, consecutive calendar days with continuing treatment by a health care provider.
  • Chronic conditions requiring periodic treatment by a health care provider, continuing over an extended period, and causing episodic incapacity.
  • Permanent or long-term conditions requiring supervision by a health care provider.
  • Conditions requiring multiple treatments by a health care provider for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury or for a condition that would likely result in incapacity of more than three consecutive days if left untreated.

How to Apply for FMLA Leave?

To request FMLA leave, you should follow these steps:

  • Notify your employer as soon as you know the need for leave. If the need is foreseeable, provide at least 30 days’ notice. If not, notify your employer as soon as possible (typically within one to two business days of learning about the need for leave).
  • Comply with your employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.
  • Provide sufficient information for your employer to determine whether the FMLA applies to the leave request, such as the anticipated timing and duration of the leave and relevant facts about the reason for the leave.
  • If requested, provide appropriate documentation, such as a certification from a health care provider, to support the need for leave.

Many federal laws protect your rights at work, including the FMLA. Understanding these laws is challenging, and if you think your rights have been violated, speak with an employment lawyer.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Protect Your Work Rights

If your work rights have been violated, speak with our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. to discuss your options. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  Category: Employment Law, FMLA
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What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law Cases?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Find a Suitable Business Dispute Resolution.

Dealing with employment disputes is never easy, and it is often complicated to find a workable solution, especially in legal cases. However, did you know that there may be a way to resolve employment disputes without the need for litigation or court proceedings? This is called alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which is an efficient, effective, and less expensive way to resolve disagreements.

ADR is a process used to settle disputes without going to court. ADR is a less formal and less expensive approach, typically involving a neutral third party such as a mediator or an arbitrator, to help participants reach an agreement. The goal of ADR is to solve the dispute fairly and amicably.

Different Types of ADR

Here are some common types of ADR:

  • Mediation: Mediation usually involves a neutral third party acting as a mediator to help participants reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation can be particularly useful for disputes where the relationship must continue, as it allows the parties to maintain an amicable relationship.
  • Arbitration: In arbitration, a neutral third party acts as an arbitrator and makes a binding decision on the dispute. Unlike mediation, parties have less control over the outcome of the dispute, but the process is more time-efficient.
  • Negotiation: Negotiation is a process where parties involved in a dispute attempt to find a mutually acceptable solution on their own, usually through face-to-face conversations.
  • Collaborative law: Collaborative Law usually involves the parties and their attorneys agreeing to work together outside of court to resolve the dispute.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

ADR offers several benefits to employers and employees, including:

  • Saves time: ADR processes are often faster than court proceedings, which could take months or years to solve.
  • Saves money: ADR is often less expensive than the traditional court process. The costs of litigation can be a huge financial burden for small businesses.
  • Offers more control: ADR provides participants with more control over the outcome of the dispute, unlike litigation where the outcome is in the hands of the court.
  • Maintains privacy: Court proceedings are public record, and they may damage the reputation of the business. ADR, on the other hand, maintains privacy and confidentiality, which can be essential for small businesses.

Why Is ADR Useful in Employment Disputes?

Employment disputes can be quite complicated, and litigation may not be the best approach to solve them. ADR offers a more flexible and amicable way to solve disputes that are personal and sensitive to employees. Here are a few examples of employment disputes that can be resolved through ADR:

  • Discrimination claims: Disputes involving discrimination can be particularly sensitive and personal. Mediation, in particular, provides an amicable and fast solution.
  • Harassment claims: Harassment claims can also be sensitive and personal. Arbitration, under certain circumstances, can provide a more expedient and confidential solution.
  • Wage disputes: Claims regarding pay or other wage disputes can be resolved through mediation or negotiation.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Find a Suitable Business Dispute Resolution

Employment disputes happen despite your best efforts to prevent them. When they arise, ADR could be the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to resolve the matter. Get the legal help you need today by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What Are Effective Strategies for Resolving Employment Disputes?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Resolve Your Business Disputes.

Conflict in the workplace happens. Whether it is between co-workers, managers, or customers, disputes arise and need to be addressed quickly and efficiently. Unresolved conflict can lead to a disengaged and unhappy workforce, which can be detrimental to your business. It is important to have strategies in place for resolving employment disputes when they occur. Here are some tips on how you can approach resolving conflicts in a productive way.

Clarify the Source of Conflict

The first step is understanding why the dispute has occurred in the first place. It could be due to differences in opinions about something, or a misunderstanding of expectations between parties. It could even be due to a disagreement about resources or who gets credit for tasks completed. Taking time to gain clarity on where the issue lies is essential before moving forward with any resolution plan.

Find a Safe Space To Talk

Once you have established what sparked the conflict, it is important that everyone involved feels safe enough to voice their feelings and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution from anyone else involved. This could mean having an open discussion about the situation or bringing in a third-party mediator who can ensure that everyone has a chance to speak openly without interruption from anyone else involved in the dispute.

Listen and Let Everyone Have Their Say

Listening is key when it comes to resolving conflicts at work; it shows respect for everyone involved and helps build trust between the parties. This means actively listening and paying attention to what everyone is saying so that you can understand each side of the story before coming up with a solution.

Investigate

In some cases, like if harassment is involved, an investigation may need to take place before any resolution can be reached. If someone says that they have been treated unfairly, it might need to be investigated. This means asking questions and looking for the truth about what happened. It is important to be impartial and open-minded during this process so everyone has the chance to present their case. Make sure you document your investigation, as it could be needed if a legal issue arises.

Agree On an Outcome

After all sides have had their say, it is important that an outcome is reached or an agreement is made between those involved so there are no lingering issues. If no consensus or agreement can be made, then make sure that you make the best decision for your business moving forward; this will help maintain productivity and keep morale high. If there is a legal matter like discrimination involved, it is advisable to discuss the outcome with a legal advisor.

Evaluate and Prepare

An employer can evaluate an employment conflict outcome by assessing the root cause of the dispute, identifying patterns or trends that may have led to the conflict, and investigating potential workplace policies or legal issues that may have been involved. Additionally, they can look back at communication between all parties involved, review feedback received from employees regarding their experience with the situation, and take necessary steps to create a positive work environment. This could include introducing stronger HR protocols, providing additional training or coaching resources for both management and employees, and creating open channels of communication.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Resolve Your Business Disputes

Despite taking precautions, you may still find yourself with an employment dispute. This is not something you should ignore. Speak with one of our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C today. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

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Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

The workplace can be a tricky environment to navigate, especially when it comes to understanding your rights as an employee. Employers often track internet, email, and phone use, so employees do not have an expectation of privacy in the workplace, but employee privacy rights are protected in the workplace.

What are Employee Privacy Rights?

“Employee privacy rights” refer to the degree of protection offered to workers from their employers. Unfortunately, there is not much protection for employees from their employer when it comes to searching company computers and property. This means that employers are usually within their legal rights to search a computer or other company property for any reason they deem fit.

As such, any emails you send on a company computer can be read by your employer if they choose to do so. Generally speaking, employees do not have an expectation of privacy while using company-owned equipment or devices.

How Employers Track Employees’ Usage?

Employers may track internet usage through monitoring software programs. These programs will look at all data that passes through a network—including websites visited and emails sent—so employers can see what their employees are doing with company technology during work hours. They may also track employee phone calls and emails by making recordings of them for quality assurance purposes, or looking through emails sent from work accounts for any suspicious activity. Some companies may even install GPS tracking on company vehicles so they can monitor their drivers’ whereabouts during work hours.

Employees’ Rights in the Workplace

Despite these methods of monitoring employed by employers, there are still certain rights afforded to workers in most workplaces including the right to be free from harassment and discrimination, the right to be free of toxic substances and dangerous conditions, and the right to be free from punishment for making a complaint or filing a claim against their employer or co-worker(s). Besides these protections, there are certain other areas where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like the bathroom. Employees have a right to use the restroom without being monitored or observed by their employer or coworkers. This expectation of privacy is based on both legal and ethical considerations. From a legal standpoint, employers are required to provide safe and sanitary restroom facilities for their employees, which includes protecting their privacy while using these facilities.

Employers may install security cameras in certain areas of the workplace for safety and security reasons, but these cameras should not be placed in restrooms or other areas where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like personal belongings. Even if a backpack or purse is brought to work, an employer cannot search these items without a valid reason or the employee’s consent.

The Philadelphia Employment Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights in the Workplace

If you think your workplace rights have been violated, speak with the Philadelphia employment attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or inquire online to schedule a consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

  Category: Employment Law
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Do I Need an Employment Lawyer to File a Discrimination Claim?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee.

For complex legal situations like a workplace discrimination claim, it is often a good idea to seek advice and guidance from legal counsel. An experienced employment lawyer can help you navigate the difficult process ahead.

How an Employment Lawyer Can Help You?

An experienced employment lawyer can provide invaluable assistance to an employee who may have been discriminated against at work. An employment attorney can help the employee in various ways beyond mere representation, such as gathering evidence and determining how the employer violated any laws and to what extent.

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence is a critical step in filing a discrimination claim. Experienced attorneys can help employees collect and document relevant information that proves discrimination occurred. This includes collecting emails, text messages, witness statements, and relevant documents. An attorney can assist by conducting interviews with witnesses and obtaining the employer’s records on the case.

Determine Whether the Employer Broke the Law

Determining whether the employer violated any laws is another important role for an experienced employment lawyer. An attorney can review state and federal laws related to discrimination and advise their clients on whether they may have a valid claim. They can also review any applicable collective bargaining agreements to see if there were any breaches of duty by the employer.

Presenting Your Case in Court

Presenting a case in court requires knowledge of civil procedure. A seasoned employment attorney will be familiar with all the steps involved in litigation, including how to properly draft pleadings, file motions, respond to discovery requests, present oral arguments, and negotiate settlements with opposing counsel. An attorney’s knowledge of court rules and procedures can greatly improve an employee’s chances of success when pursuing a discrimination claim against their employer.

Examples of Illegal Workplace Discrimination

Potential illegal workplace discrimination could be a manager refusing to promote an employee solely based on their gender. The manager may have given other people with lesser qualifications the promotion and justified it by saying the passed over employee was not a “good fit” for the job despite their qualifications, while every other person promoted was of the same gender, different from the employee passed over. This type of gender-based discrimination is illegal in all workplaces and can leave employees feeling devalued and powerless.

Sexual harassment can also rise to the level of illegal workplace discrimination where a supervisor sexually harasses an employee. This type of discrimination is illegal and involves unwelcome conduct, such as physical or verbal advances, making derogatory comments, or sending inappropriate texts or emails. In the scenario, the employee may feel powerless and unable to speak up because they fear reprisal from their superior. Sexual harassment can create a hostile work environment, leaving employees feeling embarrassed, intimidated, and violated.

Illegal workplace discrimination can also look like a hiring manager passing over qualified applicants based on their race or ethnic background. In this scenario, the manager would place job postings with language designed to restrict certain applicants from applying, such as indicating they “prefer” an applicant from a certain background, requiring unnecessary qualifications, or offering lower pay for the same position based on a person’s race. This type of discrimination is illegal and violates an individual’s right to equal employment opportunities. Such discriminatory practices can discourage employees from applying for positions and leave them feeling frustrated and undervalued in the workplace.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee

If your employer is discriminating against you, you may have a valid legal claim against them. To explore your legal options, speak with our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form to schedule an initial consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Can Non-Compete Agreements be Banned?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that non-compete agreements could be banned, removing the standard workplace practice of restricting a worker’s ability to move between jobs. These contracts have been used in the past to protect companies’ trade secrets and other confidential corporate information by preventing employees from leaving for a rival company, competing with their current employer, or sharing confidential information.

The FTC states that these agreements can restrict innovation and harm workers’ ability to earn more money. With this in mind, it is essential to look at the pros and cons of banning non-compete agreements, both for employers and employees.

What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

In today’s competitive business landscape, non-compete agreements are becoming an increasingly common way for employers to protect their trade secrets and other confidential information from competitors. These contracts usually involve a worker agreeing not to leave the company and join a rival business or take advantage of any opportunities with a competitor within a specified period of time. Additionally, they may also include clauses restricting employees from developing inventions using the same skills they acquired while working at their current job.

The purpose of non-compete agreements is to ensure that employees do not leave their current company with confidential information or use knowledge gained on the job to benefit other companies. On the flip side, some argue that these contracts can be overly restrictive and ultimately limit employees’ ability to progress in terms of wage increases or future opportunities. Ultimately, it is up to companies and their workers to determine if and when non-competition contracts should be used‌ and whether the FTC formally bans them as a corporate practice.

Pros of Banning Non-Competes

From an employee standpoint, one main benefit of banning non-compete agreements is that they will no longer feel restricted from pursuing new opportunities. This means they can join rival companies or pursue higher wages without fear of legal repercussions. Additionally, these individuals will have increased freedom to innovate, as they won’t be limited by any clauses restricting their actions.

For companies, a ban on non-compete agreements could result in access to a larger pool of qualified candidates and new ideas. Since the best talent may not want to work under conditions that limit their future opportunities, this would give them more incentive to come work for a new company. Moreover, having a wider selection of job applicants could create greater competition between potential employees, which could lead to better quality work overall.

Cons of Banning Non-Competes

Despite the potential benefits mentioned above, there are some downsides to banning non-compete agreements for both parties involved. For instance, it may become easier for former employees who know sensitive information about your business to leave with it and use it against your company if they move onto a new organization within the same industry. Thus, businesses need access to legal recourse if this situation arises.

Employers may argue that a ban on non-competes would make it too difficult for them to retain their top talent, since nothing would prevent them from going elsewhere. Companies might also worry that without any restrictions on development outside the workplace, some employees may contribute their own ideas towards competitors instead of developing new ones specifically for their current employer’s use.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee

To discuss your legal options, speak with the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Does Pregnancy Stigma Exist in the Workplace?

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Pregnancy Stigma Exist in the Workplace.

Despite numerous laws banning pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, pregnant employees continue to report varying degrees of harassment and stigmatization. In fact, according to the most available Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other government-run entities’ filings and data, more than 50,000 claims related to pregnancy discrimination were submitted in the last decade.

Recognizing signs of pregnant worker discrimination can be challenging at times. While some types of discrimination are obvious, others are more subtle. This is why many pregnant employees turn to employment lawyers to help them determine if they have potential pregnancy discrimination cases against their employers.

What Does Pregnancy Stigma and Discrimination Look Like?

The broadest possible definition of pregnancy discrimination is discrimination against a pregnant individual or a recently pregnant individual. The discrimination can be pervasive, feeling built into the culture of an organization. It may come directly from a single person, such as a manager or co-worker. Alternatively, it might appear in several forms over the course of the worker’s pregnancy, maternity leave, and return to the job.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978 to tackle pregnancy discrimination, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 touches upon pregnancy stigma. Unfortunately, even with these regulations and laws in place, plenty of pregnant workers say that they have experienced discrimination because they were carrying a child.

In one study of workers who were pregnant, around one-quarter of those surveyed said they were so concerned about being treated unfairly that they withheld news about their pregnancies out of fear.

What Are Some Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination?

There is no one kind of pregnancy discrimination. For that reason, the examples of pregnancy discrimination are quite widespread and all-encompassing.

  • Being inappropriately touched by colleagues, especially in the abdominal area.
  • Being skipped over for promotions.
  • Being forced to leave.
  • Being told that they cannot have temporary accommodations, such as being able to sit in a chair instead of standing.
  • Being called out for stereotypical “pregnant person” attributes, such as postpartum depression, inflexibility, lack of commitment, or mood swings.
  • Being denied employment despite having posted qualifications.
  • Being offered lower salaries than are offered to male counterparts performing the same roles.
  • Being taken off of prime job assignments.
  • Being overlooked for coaching, training, mentoring, and professional development opportunities.

What Are the Effects of Work-Based Pregnancy Stigma?

A workplace that allows known pregnancy discrimination to continue can become emotionally toxic and stressful for both pregnant workers and the teammates who support them. Not only is pregnancy discrimination unlawful and unethical, but it can cause long-term health problems for pregnant employees and their babies.

One piece of research from Baylor University uncovered a correlation between pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and a host of unwelcome physical and mental symptoms for mother and child. These symptoms ran the gamut from lowered birth weight and higher risk of postpartum responses to increased need for doctor appointments.

What Should Pregnant Workers Who Experience On-the-Job Bias Do?

If you or someone you love experiences job-related pregnancy discrimination, you can take a few steps. First, get in touch with someone in the human resources or personnel department. Ask for a copy of the employer’s pregnancy discrimination policy. Be aware that some companies are more forthcoming than others.

Next, keep track of any discriminatory or biased infractions, discussions, or messages. Never delete Slack pings or emails, and keep all handwritten notes. It is easier to make a case against an employer with documentation.

Finally, speak with an employment lawyer. Employment attorneys have the background to advise you on your rights as an employee. Above all else, you legally deserve to be treated fairly no matter what your medical condition.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Hold Employers Who Allow Pregnancy Discrimination Responsible

Did you or someone you care about experience pregnancy discrimination, stigma, or bias on the job? Call our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online contact form. Our team has an office in Philadelphia and our attorneys handle employment law cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Can I Be Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee.

Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace can be a frightening and overwhelming ordeal. It is important to know that reporting this behavior is not only necessary, but it is also protected by law. An employee cannot be fired simply for reporting sexual harassment, and employers are not allowed to take adverse employment actions against an employee who has reported such behavior.

What is Adverse Action?

The law protects those who have experienced or reported sexual harassment in the workplace. It applies to employees who report harassing behavior as well as victims of the harassment. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against either party by taking any adverse actions.

“Adverse action” is defined as any action taken by an employer that negatively impacts an employee’s job status. This can include demoting them, decreasing their pay, creating a hostile work environment, reducing their hours, or retaliating against them. An employee who reports sexual harassment should not have to worry about facing any kind of adverse action from their employer. If they do face any form of retaliation from their employer for reporting sexual harassment, then they may be able to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces civil rights laws and investigates allegations of discrimination in the workplace. If you have reported sexual harassment at work, your employer must investigate your claim. The EEOC will check up on them to ensure a full investigation occurred, and they will ensure you do not receive any adverse action. If you do, your employer could be subject to sanctions, including reinstating you in your job if you have been terminated.

What If I Was Fired?

If you have been fired for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. Besides reporting the issue to the EEOC and speaking with an experienced employment lawyer, document everything. It is important that you document every instance of what has happened since you reported the workplace sexual harassment incident. This includes any emails or conversations between you and your employer regarding the matter, as well as any other evidence that may help support your case. Having documentation of all events is crucial when making a legal claim against an employer for wrongful termination due to reporting sexual harassment.

It is also worth noting that you do not have to be the recipient of workplace sexual harassment to report it to your employer or the EEOC. If you witness sexual harassment in the workplace, you should speak out. Filing a sexual harassment claim with your company’s HR department will help make your workplace safer for everyone.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee

It is against the law for your employer to terminate you for reporting sexual harassment. If you have lost your job after reporting sexual harassment in your workplace, discuss your legal options with the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.