Category: Employment Law

Am I Entitled to Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

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unemployment insurance benefits

Federal law protects employees who work for companies and lose their jobs “through no fault of their own,” as long as the claimant worked for a certain amount of time and earned a minimum amount of money. These rules vary depending on the state. Unemployment benefits are not usually given to employees who quit or get fired unless the job loss or reduced hours was not their fault. Other guidelines apply as well. If approved, the former employee must apply for benefits once every one or two weeks.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Guidelines

To qualify for Pennsylvania unemployment benefits, you must have worked a minimum of 18 credit (calendar) weeks and earned $116 or more per week. The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation also bases eligibility on the reason for the employer/employee separation. Your former employer will be contacted, and this information will be evaluated along with the details you provide.

You need to have a qualifying separation like being laid off or the company closing down to receive unemployment benefits, but others may qualify depending on the circumstances. Separations based on the following will generally result in benefit denials:

  • Failed drug and alcohol testing
  • Frequent absenteeism/tardiness
  • Poor work performance
  • Willful misconduct
  • Willfully damaging company property

To continue receiving benefits, you must be willing to accept new work and not turn down any legitimate offers. You’ll have to certify your benefits every week as well. The benefits last 52 weeks after your application date, so it is a temporary, not a permanent solution.

New Jersey Unemployment Guidelines

New Jersey’s unemployment eligibility guidelines differ somewhat from Pennsylvania’s. Applicants must have worked for at least 20 weeks and have earned a minimum of $240 a week or a total of $12,000 during that time. Layoffs and company downsizings are acceptable reasons for separations, just like in Pennsylvania. The guidelines are also similar for those who quit voluntarily. When you indicate this answer on your application, a claims examiner will be in touch with you and most likely, your previous employer.

Once approved, you’ll need to certify for benefits each week. To continue receiving payments, you have to be able to work, be looking for work, and not refuse any legitimate offers. If you meet the requirements and become eligible for benefits, you will get them for 26 weeks; that is half what Pennsylvania provides. Both states limit benefits for self-employed workers who own businesses and independent contractors. If you did not pay any payroll taxes, you will not be eligible.

Dealing with state unemployment offices can be frustrating, especially when you are put on hold for hours at a time or get disconnected. This can delay your application process if you have questions. It is also problematic if you were denied and need help with an appeal. Some employees lose their jobs because of discrimination or wrongful termination and others cannot get approvals. When these situations occur, a knowledgeable employment lawyer could be your best bet.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Fight to Protect Their Client’s Rights

Losing your job is concerning enough but when you are denied the employment benefits you deserve, you will want to stand up and fight for your rights. Contact Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. to speak with our skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers about your claim today. Complete our online form or call our office at 215-574-0600. From our offices in Philadelphia, we serve employees in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

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What Should I Do If I Believe My Employer Is Racially Discriminating Against Me?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Support Employees Facing Workplace Racial Discrimination.

Workplace racial discrimination could be subtle, obvious, and/or systemic, but no matter which category it falls into, it is against the law. There are state and federal laws in place that prohibit this kind of behavior and if you believe that you have been targeted, you do not have to put up with it. The main things to remember are to gather as much evidence as possible and to follow company procedures for reporting what happened. Here are some other things that you should know.

What is the Definition of Employment Discrimination and What are My Rights?

Racial discrimination is a form of employment discrimination. It happens when employers and co-workers treat employees or applicants in less favorable ways, based on race. Examples of mistreatment based on race might include:

  • Being denied benefits and promotions
  • Enduring offensive actions, comments, and communications from colleagues, vendors, or managers
  • Not being given equal pay
  • Not being hired for a job even though you are equally or more qualified than other applicants
  • Not being permitted to wear your hair, clothing, or accessories that relate to your racial or ethnic identity (with the exception of such being hazardous to your working conditions.)
  • Not qualifying for job-related training/not being included in meetings

Employees have the right to be in working environments that are free of discrimination. If you feel that you are being treated differently because of your race, you also have the right to bring this up with your employer.

How Can I Prove Workplace Racial Discrimination?

Generally, managers and executives know better than to blatantly discriminate against employees in ways that can be documented (emails, flyers, voicemails) but if this happens, save everything in a safe place and include dates and times.

You may have to provide indirect evidence to prove a case of racial discrimination. Write down instances of discrimination (with dates and times) and see if you can get any witnesses to back you up. You can also find out what others with the same experience and responsibilities as you are being paid, document your skills, and find out why someone else got that promotion you were highly qualified for.

Can I File a Racial Discrimination Claim at Work?

The answer to this question should be in your employee manual, along with the steps you need to take. Smaller companies do not always have HR representatives, so you may have to go through another channel. Draft a formal letter of complaint and attach any evidence you may have gathered. Document the employer’s response and any actions they may have or may have not taken on your behalf.

Should your complaints not be addressed, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a state agency, or a local one like the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Follow the instructions carefully, and you may receive a positive response. Otherwise, you have the option of contacting an employment lawyer.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Support Employees Facing Workplace Racial Discrimination

Your workplace should be free of any kind of discrimination, but some employees still experience this kind of abuse. If this has happened to you, contact the skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Our caring, assertive Philadelphia employment lawyers offer confidential consultations and can fight to protect your rights. Complete our online form or call us at 215-574-0600. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Can My Employer Ask About My Previous Salary History?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Prospective Workers with Workplace Discrimination.

A new job search can be an exciting and fulfilling experience in your life, but it can also be quite stressful. You will face many questions during your search, some of which you may feel very comfortable answering, while other questions may intimidate you or feel uncomfortable or even inappropriate. For instance, if a prospective employer asks you about your salary history, you may not know how to answer that question. You may actually wonder if they are legally allowed to do so in the first place.

There are a few states that make it illegal for employers to ask about salary history or what your current wage is. These states include California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Washington. Some cities have passed laws prohibiting the practice as well, including New York City and San Francisco.

The problem with being asked about your previous salary is that some employers believe it is a way to gauge your market value. Although that may be the case, it also pigeon-holes many people, especially women, people who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), or members of multiple marginalized communities. This group of people experience a wide range of pay gaps, and if an employer asks them their previous salary, they may find it necessary to stay with that pay gap and not increase it. Many people believe that questioning a worker’s salary history reinforces the pay gap, which leaves many people getting paid less than what they are worth.

If a potential employer asks about your salary history, there are a few ways you can handle the situation without being disrespectful, such as:

  • Know your state’s laws: It is best to know before the interview if the state or city where you are going for the job has a law that prohibits salary history questions. If asked, still, you can simply say that you believe there is a new law prohibiting that type of question.
  • Practice redirection: Try to get back to the subject of salary requirements of your particular job or role, not your individual history. You can also chat about if the job is a good fit for both you and the employer. Use your education, skills, and experience as a good foundation of what your salary requirements are and not what you made before.
  • Lack of history: This job may be your first job out of college or after obtaining a new degree, where you lack history in the field, so there is no reason to be asked what your salary was before.
  • Share your history: Or you may feel comfortable with sharing your salary history, which is okay. Some interviewers discuss the range they are willing to pay, and if it is below what you have made before, then this might be a good opportunity to bring up your salary history.

What you made in previous jobs should not dictate what your future earnings should be. There are websites that illustrate what kind of salary you should be making for the role you are looking for, and you should use those as a basis for when you go job searching.

Although Pennsylvania does not have a law prohibiting an employer from requesting your salary history, the city of Philadelphia does. In Philadelphia, an employer may not inquire about salary history or rely on an applicant’s previous salary history for any stage of the employment process. However, an applicant can knowingly disclose such information, and in doing so, the employer may then use it in the process. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an applicant should they refuse to comply with a salary history inquiry.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Prospective Workers with Workplace Discrimination

If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace, then you must get the best help on your side. Contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. right away. Call us today at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. With our offices located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve all clients of South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

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Should I Continue to Work at My Job After Whistleblowing?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist and Protect Whistleblowers.

A whistleblower is someone who works within a private sector or government organization and reveals abuses of power and other bad behaviors done by their employer that betray the public’s trust. The information they share can be revealed internally or disclosed to Congress, other government channels, law enforcement, and/or the public. But since whistleblowers run the risk of facing repercussions from their employers, should they continue working after speaking out?

The Aftermath of Whistleblowing

Being a whistleblower can be stressful, even when the person has good intentions. It is often portrayed as a heroic action, if you consider the individuals who pulled back the curtain on Enron, released the Pentagon Papers, or shed light on the tobacco industry. The public might view them as heroes, but the truth is that a whistleblower’s career can change forever.

Even though the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 was passed, approximately 30 percent of government workers claim they worry about retaliation for reporting wrongdoing. Since the government can have more oversight, it makes sense that private-sector whistleblowers worry even more in this respect. It has been reported that as much as 44 percent of these employees have experienced instances of retaliation.

What is the Whistleblowing Process Like?

You do not have to be working at the company that is the focus of the whistleblowing action, but if were taking part in the alleged illegal behavior you can consult a whistleblower attorney about how to handle it. All of the information will be kept confidential, and your identity will stay anonymous unless you decide to grant permission to provide your name.

Here are some of the programs in the U.S. that whistleblowers can pursue cases through:

  • The False Claims Act (FCA)
  • SEC Whistleblower Program
  • IRS Whistleblower Program
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Claims can be filed under more than one of these, and there are statutes of limitations that apply. You must work with an attorney to file a case under the FCA, and using one for the SEC and CFTC will let you file anonymously. In any case, having an experienced lawyer may help facilitate your claim and increase the chances of success.

A successful case that leads to the recovery of fraudulently gained funds is a good thing, as the whistleblower can receive a percentage of the amount of money recovered as a reward. This can range from 10 to 30 percent, but every case is different.

Can I Keep Working After Whistleblowing?

If you work with an attorney, your identity will remain confidential throughout most of the process unless you grant permission to share your name. Federal law protects you from being retaliated against at work after reporting illegal company actions to the government. This means that you cannot be subjected to adverse employment decisions like demotions or firings based on what you did to expose the illegal conduct. If the employer does retaliate, you could be entitled to additional damages in a subsequent employment lawsuit.

There are also state laws that protect public employees from that kind of retaliation, but these might not apply to your situation. The amount of protection will receive depends on if the company is private, public, or a government entity, who your report the wrongdoing to, they kind of wrongdoing, and the applicable laws. The option of returning to work may be viable or then again, it may not.

If you are thinking about whistleblowing, you are taking on the risk of being suspended, demoted, transferred, fired, or facing other kinds of retaliation. That is why it is important to consult with an experienced employment lawyer before filing the claim – this way, an experienced professional who has your best interests in mind can guide you through the process.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist and Protect Whistleblowers

It takes courage to become a whistleblower, and trusted legal guidance to help you make your claim. For a confidential consultation, contact the skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers from Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Reach out by calling 215-574-0600 or completing our online form. From our office in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Do Women Over 50 Face More Employment Discrimination?

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Whether searching for employment, aiming for a promotion, or simply trying to hold on to their current position, older women face extra challenges in the workplace. They face the dual threat of age and gender discrimination, which often hinders their chances of success.

Despite often having ample experience and qualifications, many sexist biases against women follow them while working during their older years. An employer’s preference for younger women at work could cause older women in the same workplace to experience gender and age discrimination. The compound discriminations could result in lower pay, fewer opportunities for advancement, and forced early retirement.

Age Discrimination Commonly Occurs in the Workplace

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says 90 percent of workers surveyed in the United States say that age discrimination commonly happens at their place of work. A majority of women and men alike say that they experienced age discrimination while working.

Women are slightly more likely than men to say they experienced age discrimination at work. The AARP says 64 percent of women and 59 percent of men surveyed said that they experienced age discrimination.

While a vast majority of all workers say age discrimination occurs, very few file complaints. The AARP says only three percent of those surveyed said they filed a formal discrimination complaint.

What to Do if You Experience Workplace Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says any age-based discrimination is illegal. The federal employment oversight agency investigates complaints filed by anyone age 40 or older.

If you have good reason to think you were passed over for a hiring opportunity, promotion, or other work-related matter due to your age, you could file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate a complaint and determine whether or not it has merit. When an age discrimination complaint has merit, you can then file a civil action in federal court.

An experienced business lawyer can help you to prepare an EEOC complaint and support it with evidence. The federal agency will have up to six months to investigate your claim and either approve or deny it. An approval enables you to move forward with a lawsuit against the discriminatory employer. That is true in the state court system, too.

Possible State-Level Action in Pennsylvania

Your attorney also can help with state-level filings that might enable you to file a civil complaint in the Pennsylvania court system. Pennsylvania law outlaws age discrimination and other forms of workplace discrimination.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) investigates discrimination complaints. If it says your complaint has merit, you could pursue legal action in the state courts.

You do not have to file complaints with the EEOC and the PHRC. The federal and state agencies accept the decision of the other regarding workplace discrimination investigations. If you file with the PHRC and it says your complaint has merit, you can file a federal action as well as a state action.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Defend Workers’ Rights

If you were discriminated against at work, contact the experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green today. Fill out our online form or call 215-574-0600 to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What Happens if You Are Found in Breach of Contract?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Parties Who Face Contractual Difficulties.

In an ideal contract situation, both parties would uphold their side of the agreement, both sides would obtain what was agreed upon, and no issues would come up. However, it can be difficult to maintain a contract, even when both parties want to. Unexpected situations can present themselves without warning, and disputes could arise causing delays. This could sometimes lead to a breach of contract.

A breach of contract happens when a party of a legal binding agreement does not honor their side of the contract, either by not performing an action outlined in the contract, whether it is not performed on time, not performed in accordance with the agreement, or not performed at all. There are three distinct ways a party can breach a contract, depending on the agreement’s subject matter:

  • Either partially or fully not performing the obligations set forth in the contract. This is known as an actual breach of contract.
  • Behaving in a way that shows intent to not perform the obligations set forth in the contract. This is otherwise known as a renunciatory or anticipatory breach.
  • Acting in a way that makes the obligations defined in the contract impossible to perform. This can also be known as a renunciatory breach.

Breaching a contract can have serious consequences. When a breach of contract occurs, the breaching party must pay damages to the aggrieved party. It typically can have significant financial consequences, such as:

  • Lost income
  • Lost profits
  • Increased rental costs
  • Lost rental income
  • Increased labor costs
  • Increase material costs

The nature of the breach typically determines how to remedy the breach. A minor breach, whereas the contract itself is not entirely violated and can still be performed in a certain manner, can often be remedied quickly because a minor breach is when one party fails to perform a small detail of the agreement. The contract typically allows a party a certain amount of time to fix the mistake.

A material breach, also known as a fundamental breach, is such an egregious error that it cancels the contract, and the nonbreaching party no longer must uphold their end of the contract and has the right to file a lawsuit. The contract will typically have the options to remedy the breach, either through mediation or arbitration before filing a lawsuit.

Pennsylvania law allows for damages to be recovered when a contract is breached, but it must total a sum that compensates the aggrieved party for their losses. The nonbreaching party must present evidence, however, that the damages they incurred were reasonably foreseeable at the time the contract was entered and reasonably certain in terms of calculations:

  • Reasonably foreseeable: The damages recovered for the nonbreaching party must be a direct result of the contract breach and reasonably foreseeable at the time the parties agreed in the contract.
  • Reasonably certain calculations: The nonbreaching party has the burden of proving the calculations of their damages by a fair degree of probability. It does not have to be exact, and the jury is forbidden to speculate the amounts. The amount should put the nonbreaching party in or as nearly in the same position they would have been if the contract had not been breached. If the damages cannot be calculated with certainty, then the nonbreaching party is entitled to damages made during or in anticipation of the performance of the contract.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Parties Who Face Contractual Difficulties

If you believe you are in breach of contract, or are facing contractual difficulties, then contact the knowledgeable Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. immediately. Call us today at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form to schedule an initial consultation. With our offices located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve all clients of South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Does My NDA Prevent Me From Calling out Sexual Harassment?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Parties Who Face Contractual Difficulties.

Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, are a common component of employment contracts in today’s workplace. They are used to prevent employees from disclosing trade secrets and confidential company information, but do NDAs apply to sexual harassment complaints and other civil rights matters? The answer is complex and depends largely on the terms of your employment.

We will explore this issue and recommend next steps to protect your rights and your interests if you experience sexual harassment at work.

NDAs as a Tool to Keep Employees Quiet About Workplace Harassment

It makes sense that companies want to keep trade secrets under wraps. If inside company information gets out, it could seriously impact their bottom line. But is it fair to expect employees to keep the details of a sexual harassment complaint confidential?

It may not seem fair, but it is possible. Your right to speak out depends on the confidentiality agreement you sign when you take a job or settle a harassment case.

An Example of an NDA in a Settlement Agreement

Let us take the example of a male worker who files a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor who repeatedly asks him out on a date—while he repeatedly declines the offer.

His boss even promises him a raise if he consents to a romantic relationship with her. When he declines again, she gives the job to another employee with less skills and experience. This scenario has all of the components of a valid sexual harassment case.

After finally having enough, he reports his supervisor. With texts and emails to support his claims, the employer has no choice but to act. To avoid litigation, the company negotiates a settlement with the employee. They agree to compensate the employee with a caveat—he must agree not to disclose the amount of the settlement or the details of the allegations.

If the employee violates this provision, the employer can sue them in civil court. However, because lawsuits are public record, they may refrain from enforcing an NDA to keep the case as quiet as possible.

There are other ways to discourage an employee from speaking out. Some settlement agreements contain a provision that states they can stop paying the employee if that employee discloses privileged information. Other settlement agreements have a “liquidated damages” clause that requires an employee who violates an NDA to pay the company a specific amount of money.

Why Are NDAs Problematic in Sexual Harassment Cases?

Of course, employers do not want the public to find out about sexual harassment and other civil rights violations that occur in the workplace. But when we are quiet about these pervasive issues, they are more likely to continue.

As we have seen with the recent “Me Too” movement, shedding light on the problem is the key to awareness and prevention of sexual harassment. Everyone deserves a safe, equitable, and inclusive work environment.

Bill 849: Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act

NDAs that prevent individuals from speaking out about harassment may be a thing of the past in Pennsylvania if House Bill 849 is approved. The bill, which has been referred to the state senate’s Labor and Industry committee for approval, would ban NDAs related to sexual harassment as a requirement for employment—unless it was agreed to by both parties.

Federally, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in September unanimously approved the Speak Out Act, a bill that invalidates NDAs specifically designed to prevent employees from publicly disclosing instances of workplace sexual harassment or assault in order to prevent future harm to others. Similar state bills have already been passed in New York, New Jersey, California, and Illinois.

Currently in Pennsylvania, your NDA precludes you from sharing your experience, you can face possible legal action, damages, or a smaller settlement if you do. It is best to have your Philadelphia employment lawyer review any employment contract, non-disclosure agreement, or settlement agreement before you sign. This way, you are fully-informed of your rights and obligations at all times.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C., Are Committed to Protecting Clients’ Civil Rights

If you have experienced sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination at your job, the skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. can help. Established in 1958, we have a proven track record of success achieving good outcomes for our clients. Call 215-574-0600 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Is There a Transgender Wage Gap?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff Pincus & Green Fight Workplace Discrimination.

Transgender workers earn nearly a third less than their cisgender coworkers, despite having similar levels of education and experience, a recent study shows.

The United States has more than 2 million workers who identify as transgender, so earning less impacts a significant number of working adults. Researchers with McKinsey & Company in 2021 reported transgender workers receive 32 percent less in pay than those who are doing the same job and are equally qualified.

The lack of equal pay is a serious problem for many transgender employees and may violate respective state or federal laws against discrimination.

Wide Pay Disparity for Transgender Workers

Virtually all workers who comprise the LGBTQ+ community say they are paid significantly less than their equally qualified and experienced counterparts. A recent study done by the HRC Foundation shows they are paid about 10 percent less than other workers, on average.

While 10 percent is a significant amount, it is much less than the 32 percent pay discrepancy among transgender workers. The disparity suggests transgender employees are among the least valued and lowest-paid workers regardless of their experience, education, and qualifications.

Majority of Transgender Employees Feel Excluded

The McKinsey report says more than half of transgender employees say they are not comfortable while at work. Many say they stay silent during work meetings and generally avoid socializing with coworkers.

The relative isolation of transgender employees makes it much harder for them to contest pay disparities orto simply feel included and respected while at work. Self-isolation will not help, but that often is a symptom of the workplace discrimination that occurs against transgender employees.

A lot of transgender employees say they do not feel as supported by employers as other employees. When they get paid nearly a third less than their equally qualified and experienced counterparts, the income disparity contributes to the feeling of alienation and a lack of support.

Pay Disparity Contributes to Transgender Poverty Levels

A darker side of the apparent pay disparity is its economic effect on transgender employees. Transgender people in general suffer high rates of poverty with about 22 percent living at or below the federal poverty level.

When paid almost a third less than others with similar experience and qualifications, the potential for impoverishment becomes much greater. Fortunately, you can fight pay discrimination and enforce your equal rights as a transgender employee when you retain an experienced employment attorney.

How to Fight Pay Discrimination?

Federal and many state laws say it is a type of sex discrimination to pay someone less due to gender identity. Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws ban discrimination based on gender identity, including lower rates of pay.

If you identify as transgender and are receiving less pay than your counterparts, you should retain an experienced employment lawyer to help uphold your rights. Your attorney can review your situation and help you to build a strong case that shows your employer is discriminating against you based on your gender identity.

There are steps that you must complete before a federal or state-level lawsuit could be filed. Those include filing a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When the commission affirms discrimination has occurred, employees can file lawsuits against their employers or other offending parties.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff Pincus & Green Fight Workplace Discrimination

If you are experiencing workplace discrimination of any kind, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff Pincus & Green can help to uphold your rights. You can call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients who throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How Often Do Business Contracts Need to Be Updated?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Protect Clients and their Business Contracts.

The use of contracts is standard and necessary practice among most businesses. When businesses allow lawyers handle major aspects of a company’s contracting process, or there is a contract management team to oversee the business portfolio, oversights that could have become problematic for businesses can be avoided.

Managing business contracts can be more complicated that many realize. It is easy for finer details to slip through the cracks when circumstances change without the contract being appropriately adjusted. When running a business or working on a specific project, it is essential to keep business contracts clear, up-to-date, and understood by all parties involved.

What Types of Business Contracts Need to Be Updated?

There are many kinds of agreements that businesses rely on to keep operations and projects running smoothly. Some types of business contracts that should be updated regularly include:

  • Buy-and-sell contracts
  • Client or customer agreements
  • Commercial leases and real estate contracts
  • Employment agreements
  • Equipment leases
  • Financial agreements, including loan documents
  • Non-compete agreements.
  • Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements
  • Privacy policies
  • Service provider or supplier agreements
  • Shareholder or partnership agreements
  • Software licenses
  • Terms of use contracts
  • Website contracts

Why Should Business Contracts Be Regularly Updated?

Even when business contracts and related agreements are drafted by a lawyer, they still to remain living, breathing documents. A document that gets written for a business today may not always be the document needed tomorrow, as neither business nor laws are stagnant. The terms and conditions of a business contract need to evolve and vary with the growth and development of the company.

When renewing a company’s terms and conditions in a business contract, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Any verbal arrangements in place
  • Implied terms of the contract
  • Regulation and legislation with regard to provision of services and compulsory disclosures to customers
  • Industry practices and professional best practice rules
  • Company policies

It is crucial for businesses to review and renew their contracts regularly to ensure that terms and conditions reflect a company’s current operational feasibility, business arrangements with customers, and regulatory standards in place for businesses.

Terms and conditions of contracts enhance businesses and provide legal protections should any problems arise. There are several reasons companies should continuously update their business contracts, including the following:

  • Keeps company compliant with laws and regulations
  • Minimizes and manages dispute risk
  • Provides alternative methods to mitigate litigation risk, such as arbitration or mediation dispute resolution
  • Protects company’s intellectual property
  • Limits company’s liability and reputational risk
  • Sets expectations, securing a valuable working relationship

How Often Should Business Contracts be Updated?

How often certain contracts should be reviewed and updated can vary depending on the nature and scope of each agreement. The following is a general guideline as to when to update different kinds of business contracts:

  • Every two years: Not many business documents only need to be updated occasionally, but there are a few. Company contracts, such as operating agreements and other general records, usually fall into this category. Certain situations may necessitate a specific review prior to the two-year mark, such as the departure of a partner or change in ownership.
  • Annually: The general rule is, that when in doubt as to when a business contract should be reviewed or updated, the safest practice is once a year. Multiple agreements have one-year terms, including leases, licensing contracts, non-disclosure, or confidentiality agreements.
  • Biannually: Some contracts need to be reviewed more frequently than the most common one-year mark. Financing and professional service agreements warrant additional oversight to ensure the company is on track to fulfill all obligations. Professional services contracts can often involve substantial fee agreements with accountants or attorneys, so companies should check that they are getting an appropriate value.
  • Quarterly: the increased frequency of quarterly contract reviews can catch matters that could lead to bigger issues. Quarterly assessments can also be necessary for budgeting and reporting purposes like payroll and tax matters.
  • Monthly: Some business contracts are simply of a short duration, of an extremely high value, or with relatively unreliable partners. These types of contracts require diligent oversight and frequent communication.

All updates to business contracts should be discussed, agreed upon, and signed by every involved party. Hiring a knowledgeable Philadelphia employment lawyer can help your business avoid serious problems like breach of contract. Having a skilled employment lawyer by your side can ultimately save you time and money, a civil lawsuit, and the reputation of your company.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Protect Clients and their Business Contracts

Reach out to one of our accomplished Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green for all your legal business needs. Call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for a free consultation. From our office in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Are Algorithms Not Showing Equal Job Opportunities to Men and Women?

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The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Fight Against Sex and Gender Discrimination in Employment.

The days of searching the newspaper classifieds for open positions are long gone: potential employees now use sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and various social media platforms. But each one of the online job sites and social media sites are controlled by artificial intelligence-based algorithms. These algorithms ultimately control the specific jobs you will see when doing a search. There has been a question as to whether the algorithms are changing the results of job queries based upon the searcher’s gender. A new study by the University of Melbourne has shed some light on this real phenomenon in a report titled “Ethical Implications of AI Bias as a Result of Workforce Gender Imbalance.”

Women Are Not Being Shown Certain Job Ads and Listings

The data found in the study indicate that when job seekers use job sites and perform search queries, specific jobs will not be shown to job seekers who have identified as female. When male and female candidates perform the same job search query, specific high-paying jobs are shown to the male candidates but not the female candidates, even though the candidates have the same or similar qualifications.

This problem is most prevalent in high-paying technical jobs that have traditionally been male-dominated, which is believed to be one of the causes of biased AI algorithms. This can skew search results for women when they are performing searches for open positions in these industries.

Gender Bias in Algorithms Are Attributable to Humans

The gender bias that is found in AI algorithms are not caused by the algorithms themselves, but the gender bias that humans already have. Our own bias in encoded into the system due to the various datasets that the algorithms use. The University of Melbourne study found that human recruiters, on average, consistently rank female candidates lower in qualifications for finance jobs, technical jobs, and data analyst positions. The rankings were not even close to financial industry positions where female candidates were ranked four places lower than male candidates, even though each candidate presented with essentially the same qualifications on their resumes.

Surprisingly, the study also found that there was minimal difference in the rankings of candidates between male and female recruiters. So, it did not matter if the recruiter was male or female, they all consistently ranked women candidates lower than male candidates for jobs in certain industries.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Fight Against Sex and Gender Discrimination in Employment

If you believe you have experienced discrimination in the workplace or in hiring practices, you need to contact a knowledgeable and skilled employment law attorney to get your questions answered. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. have decades of experience in successfully fighting for the rights of women and other protected classes that suffer from employment discrimination. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients in South Jersey and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.