Category: Employment

New OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Requiring All Employers with Over 100 Employees to Ensure All Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly

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OSHA emegency standard

Fifth Circuit Issues Stay on New OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Requiring All Employers with Over 100 Employees to Ensure All Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly

On Saturday November 6, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a stay freezing the November 4, 2021 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), which requires all private employers  with over 100 employees to ensure, by January 4, 2022, that their employees are 1) either fully vaccinated, unless the employee qualifies for a religious or medical exemption, or 2) wear a mask and participate in at least once-weekly testing. While employers are not required to pay for testing under the ETS, they would be required to provide up to four hours of paid time to receive each primary dose (two doses for Pfizer and Moderna, one dose for Johnson & Johnson), as well as provide reasonable paid time for sick leave for side effects.

The ETS is currently being challenged in courts around the country. However, should the Biden Administration prevail and the stay is lifted, private companies with 100+ employees will be required to comply with the ETS, as described below, or risk financial repercussions.

Covered Employers

The ETS applies to single corporate entities with multiple locations, adding all employees at those locations together to determine if an employer meets the 100-employee threshold. Employers must count both full-time and part-time employees in its calculation, regardless if they work remotely or in the office. While remote workers are counted for purposes of determining the employee threshold, remote workers will not be subject to vaccination and testing requirements. While the ETS is in effect, covered employers that drop below the 100-employee threshold will remain covered, and be required to comply with the ETS.

The ETS does not apply to traditional franchisor-franchisee relationships, as each franchise is considered a separate entity and only that franchise’s employees are counted. Further, the ETS does not apply to staffing agencies or work sites with multiple employers.

Compliance Requirements

Covered employers must obtain proof of their employees’ vaccinations via healthcare provider or pharmacy records, Covid-19 Vaccination Record Cards; medical records, immunization records, or any other official documentation verifying the employee’s vaccination information. Employers must keep their employees’ vaccination status records available within four hours of a request from OSHA.

By December 5, 2021, covered employers must: 1) provide a written vaccination policy to its employees, which may be communicated through team meetings, email, written flyers, or other forms of communication, 2) determine the vaccination status of each employee, provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery, 3) ensure employees with positive tests are removed from the workforce and follow CDC quarantine requirements before they are allowed back at the worksite, 4) ensure that unvaccinated employees are masked when indoors, 5) report work-related COVID-19 fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations as required by the ETS, and prepare a roster of their employees’ vaccination status if requested by OSHA.

If an employer does not comply with the ETS, it can face up to $14,000 per violation.

If you are a large business, and you have questions regarding the new Emergency Temporary Standard, our skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help. For more information and to schedule an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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How Are Deaf Applicants Discriminated Against by Employers?

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When a person who is deaf looks for a job, they may encounter employment discrimination. Discrimination may be done overtly or subtly by prospective employers. Often, discrimination occurs due to prejudices or because the employer does not fully understand deafness and hearing loss. For example, an employer may mistakenly think that a deaf employee will need an interpreter all the time.

Some deaf applicants will omit their disability on their resume. People who are deaf or have hearing loss often utilize a personal relay phone number on their resume. Employers would not know that the applicant is deaf or hard of hearing until they call the phone number.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against because you are deaf or have hearing loss, then the best course of action is to document everything. Proper documentation is paramount to winning a potential legal battle. For example, if you utilize a relay phone call to your potential employer and they state that they do not hire people who are disabled, document the incident.

What Should I Do if I Experienced Discrimination Due to My Disability?

If you have experienced discrimination while applying for a job, it could be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA states that a job applicant is considered qualified if the person can do the necessary functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. One reasonable accommodation may include an interpreter for important staff meetings.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for protecting your rights in the job search, along with your rights while you are employed. While you may want to file a discrimination lawsuit immediately, the EEOC mandates that you have to file a complaint before you can file a lawsuit. You have 180 days to file from the day the discrimination happened, including holidays and weekends.

Filing With the EEOC

There are three different methods that you can file an employment discrimination complaint with the EEOC. You can do so in person, by phone, or through the mail. If you choose to do so in person, then go to an EEOC field office. Since each office has its own procedures, the EEOC states that you should contact the field office in advance. To start a charge of discrimination by phone, you can call the EEOC and provide them your information, but you still must file the charge.

To file by mail, you can mail the EEOC a signed letter that has all the details. The EEOC may contact you for more information, or the EEOC may put all the information you sent on an official charge form and ask for your signature. You may consult and hire a lawyer to represent you through the EEOC process, which can be very helpful.

Mediation and Investigation

The EEOC could ask you to go through mediation. If that fails, a charge of discrimination will go to an investigator. When the EEOC investigator decides that there are grounds for a discrimination case, they will try to settle with the employer. If a settlement is not achieved, the EEOC will decide whether to file a lawsuit against the employer.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Workers Who Have Experienced Deaf Discrimination

Being deaf should not put you in a position where you are not qualified for employment. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can listen to your discrimination case and advise you on how to proceed. Call us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. We are located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Are Employers Required to Pay for Bereavement Leave?

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Pennsylvania laws provide you a pathway to take time off work for a variety of reasons. For instance, in the case you are taking care of a sick family member or recuperating from labor, you might have an option to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

In spite of the fact that Pennsylvania does not have its own family and medical leave law, it expects employers to give employees time off for military service and jury obligation. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives qualified employees the option to take as long as 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to focus on a genuinely sick relative, bond with a newborn, or handle certain reasonable issues emerging from a relative’s military service.

It is expected that businesses give workers up to 26 weeks off to aid a relative who endured or exacerbated a genuine sickness or injury while serving in the military. Under the military family leave provision, employees can take leave to help a broader set of family members, including siblings, grandparents, and cousins, if they are next of kin to an injured service member.

While some states provide additional leave for a variety of reasons, Pennsylvania does not extend that provision for any further family members or medical leave rights past what the FMLA permits.

When an employee takes leave from work due to the death of a family member or someone else, that is bereavement leave. Employees usually use the time to mourn, handle affairs left behind by the deceased, and attend the funeral. There are no federal laws that state employers need to provide paid or unpaid leave for bereavement leave. Still, employers may have a policy in place to deal with this unforeseen circumstance. In this case, employers must fulfill bereavement leave policies that are part of individual employment deals or collective bargaining agreements.

In Pennsylvania, bereavement leave is taken by employees due to the death of an immediate family member in order to grieve and sort out associated affairs after a loved one has passed

State Laws on Jury Duty and Voting

Employees in the state are allowed to serve on a jury without fearing that their job is in jeopardy, however, jury duty time off is unpaid. There are rules for exempt employees who are paid in salary unless they did not work for that week.

While many states ensure an employee’s right to take time off work to vote, which can constitute paid time off, Pennsylvania is not among them. Those who have questions regarding their employment rights should contact a lawyer.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Workers’ Rights

As an employee, your rights are protected under the law, and that includes the right to take during a leave from your job to deal with a family emergency. If you feel your employer has reneged on your rights, contact our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. We help employees get fair and just treatment in the workplace. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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How Do I Avoid Fraud as a Business Owner?

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If you own a business, there is a great possibility that you are going to encounter an issue of fraud. When you do, it is going to be paramount that you understand how to mitigate any monetary damages, along with associated risks that your company’s reputation may suffer in the process.

Your best defense against fraud will be your ability to be knowledgeable on the subject. Being aware of what signs to look for can help your business avoid the pitfalls of scams. Listed below are compiled tips to help avoid business tort litigation involving fraud.

Tactics Employed by Scammers

A great way to deter fraudsters from coming after you is to try and understand their methods of operation. Fraud usually occurs because a scammer is able to build a foundation of trust that will provide them an avenue to get the information they need to gain access to your company. 

Another tactic they use is creating a fast-paced environment that forces you to make quick decisions without any research. Scammers will use fear and intimidation to get their way and con you out of money by having you send them payments that are untraceable. Often, these payments involve wire transfers, digital currency, reloadable cards, or gift cards, making them difficult to track.

Protect Your Business

Inform your employees that you have a plan to deal with potential fraudsters who may be trying to con your business. Encrypt passwords and never send sensitive information through emails that can be siphoned by scammers. Build a rapport with your employees, especially those that interact with finances. You are putting a lot of faith in employees who handle accounting duties, and you should run thorough background checks on them.

When paying bills, make sure that you can verify invoices, payments, and other expenses. Go over the way you handle payments with anyone on your staff who is authorized to sign off on your behalf, and stick to the system at all times. Delegate accounting duties to at least two people within your company to avoid having one person having total access to the books.

Nowadays, a lot of fraud occurs online, so it is in your best interest to be technologically proficient. Never open an email that may contain attachments of files that could contain malware that will attack your computer systems. Hackers can also damage your standing in the community by intercepting your social media accounts and relaying malicious information. In an effort to minimize risks, secure your company’s files, passwords, and financial information.    

You can also protect your business by implementing a mandatory vacation schedule and instituting a medium, whether through email or phone, where a fellow employee can anonymously report any suspicious activity.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Business Owners Avoid Fraud

When you put effort into running an effective business, nothing can be more disheartening than someone threatening your livelihood. Fraud can seep into all aspects of your business and derail your operations. However, our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help you. Call us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. We are located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Should I be Paid for My Summer Internship?

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Internships are almost always a win-win. Employers get needed help and potential future hires, while the intern gets valuable work experience that looks great on a resume. It may not be common knowledge that legal guidelines stipulate whether an internship must be paid or unpaid, but there are. Therefore, anyone considering an internship should know if their position qualifies for a paycheck.

After years of study of internships, the U.S. Department of Labor realized that many employers take advantage of interns by not paying them. While interns often volunteer to work for free, they should not do this if they legally should be paid. According to guidelines under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

  • Interns in a qualifying paid position must earn at least the federal minimum wage for internships in the for-profit or private sector.
  • They also must be paid overtime.

What Criteria Do Interns Have to Meet to be Paid?

The FLSA specifies criteria to determine whether the intern is a trainee who does not need to be paid or an employee that must be paid at least the federal minimum wage:

  • Intern does not replace regular employees but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  • Employer and intern both clearly understand there is no expectation of compensation during or at the end of the internship.
  • Internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment despite occurring in the employer’s facility.
  • Internship accommodates the intern’s schedule and commitments, such as school attendance.
  • Internship benefits the intern and their formal education; it ties in coursework or provides academic credit.
  • Internship is limited to the actual time the intern is provided beneficial learning.

If the internship meets all the criteria above, the FLSA does not consider it to be an employment relationship. Employers are then exempt from paying the minimum wage and overtime. While the criteria are open to interpretation, employers who do not want to pay their interns must provide skills and opportunities that truly benefit them.

Moral and Ethical Considerations

While the law provides legal guidelines regarding payment for internships, there are moral and ethical considerations too. Many studies show that paid interns are loyal and happy interns. They are often more enthusiastic, often hoping to be hired. Interns will also feel valuable if they are earning a paycheck and be more willing to contribute. Additionally, paying is good for the employer as well; they can set the intern’s schedule and the number of work hours.

Ethical considerations come into play as well. Employers must consider the intern’s responsibilities. Are they getting an authentic educational experience with a valuable mentor-mentee relationship, or are they making copies and getting coffee? If the intern’s work contributes in any way to the company’s successful operations, they should be paid.

An employer who expects an intern to work many hours for free or does not give them a valuable educational experience should not hire the intern to begin with. Interns should not be considered free labor. Instead, they should be regarded as contributing members of a work team that deserve to be paid for their time and effort.

The FLSA guidelines regarding internships are not easily enforced, and some employers are not even aware of them. Many interns are willing to work for free. However, when they do, the employer has the moral responsibility to give them a significant learning and skill-building experience that will benefit them in their future careers.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Interns’ Rights to Fair Pay

Interns and employees have rights under the law. Wage and hour issues are common among those who contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. We have helped numerous employees get fair and just treatment in the workplace. For an initial consultation about your case, contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What are the Differences Between Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements?

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Differences Between Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements

Every business owner, executive, manager, and employee has heard of or even signed a non-solicitation or non-compete agreement. These documents are common pieces of employment agreements and offer letters. Understanding the differences between these agreements and their enforceability makes achieving business goals easier.

Both of these agreements are restrictive covenants. That means each party agrees to be restricted by the terms contained in the agreement or clauses of the contract. However, just because the parties agree, does not mean a court will automatically uphold the restrictions in the document.

Non-Compete Agreements

As a business, a non-compete is often the more difficult of the two restrictive covenants to enforce. This is the case because the business has a high burden to prove unfair competition. To enforce a non-compete, the company must show that a former employee has confidential information about the business interests, and the company has restricted the employee from working for a competitor for a reasonable period of time and in a reasonable geographic area. Absent this proof by the company, enforcing a non-compete presents difficulty. Ultimately, it is up to a court to decide the reasonableness of the restrictions placed on the former employee.

That does not mean all hope is lost. In many cases, a court will modify the non-compete to be less restrictive to the former employee while still protecting legitimate business interests. An important point to note about non-compete agreements and clauses is that they should only apply to employees. Any business that attempts to use a non-compete with an independent contractor may face an audit and be subject to fines and penalties from the government for employee misclassification.

Non-Solicitation Agreements

A non-solicitation agreement restricts a former employee in a different way. They cannot solicit any existing, prospective, and sometimes former clients to come work with them at their new company. While easier to enforce than a non-compete, there are still challenges.

The biggest of these enforcement challenges is that the business must prove that a former employee solicited an existing, prospective, or former client to leave. Businesses are not often aware of the specific reason why a client leaves, making enforcement difficult but not impossible.

Possible Clauses

To help businesses understand the distinction between these restrictive covenants, there are key pieces that may help a company enforce these clauses. The exact needs of every business will vary. For that reason, and to have a complete understanding and review of a company’s restrictive covenants, it is advisable to speak with a skilled business lawyer.

For non-compete terms::

  • Restrict the former employee to working in a similar position with a client or competitor.
  • Only restrict the former employee within a geographic area around the company’s office.
  • Lift restrictions after a reasonable period of time, such as two years.

For non-solicitation terms:

  • Restrict the former employee from soliciting existing and potential clients and current employees.
  • Limit the restriction to no more than two years.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Clients with Non-Compete and Non-Solicit Agreements

If your business is facing non-compliance from current or former employees, or if you want to understand whether your restrictive covenants are enforceable, we can help. Your business is important to you, and you need guidance you can trust. The Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help you with your business needs. Contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600 for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Can Employers Ask Job Applicants About Salary History?

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Applying for a job can be a long and difficult process. Many job seekers will respond to dozens of job posts weekly, hoping one will call back and offer an interview. After weeks and possibly months of waiting, one sticking point can ruin chances: salary expectations.

While most employers are legally allowed to ask candidates about their past salaries, there is a growing movement to stop this uncomfortable practice. Many states have passed laws to bar the question. A study published last year by researchers at Boston University and Boston University School of Law has shown that this shift has helped black and female workers, often suffering from pay gaps, to garner more compensation.

This debate has become increasingly important, as millions wait to re-enter the workforce following massive layoffs from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many are leaving low-paying jobs in customer service and trying to find more lucrative positions. As companies compete to fill these roles, asking about salary history will face increased scrutiny.

Where Have Legislators Banned Salary History Questions?

Since 2017, there has been a trend of legislatures prohibiting or dissuading employers from asking job applicants to disclose their previous salaries. Some of these states include:


  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia



In addition to some form of statewide bans, cities like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, and Louisville have enacted local laws to keep employers from asking about salary history. It is recommended that job applicants inform themselves about what the laws are when applying in certain places, especially when considering moving to a different state or metro market.

Why Do Salary Histories Matter?

Employers have used salary histories in the past to discriminate and exclude certain candidates and potentially save money by offering less salary than what is budgeted. This practice has also been cited as a major factor in maintaining and furthering the pay gap between races and genders. Disclosing a below-market wage would likely encourage future employers to continue undervaluing a worker, offering a less significant pay increase with a new position.

What can Applicants Do to Avoid Salary History Questions?

There are a few ways to work around the question if applicants are uncomfortable. When responding to an online post, leave the entry blank if not required, or enter $0 or $1 if an entry is needed. During an interview, there are tactful ways to avoid answering or politely refusing. If the position is in an area where the question is banned, it should not be asked at all.

More job postings now include salary ranges. A great way to avoid the question is to know what is expected in the industry or position. Noting what someone at a rival company makes can help when salary is not disclosed. Applicants are encouraged to ask employers during the interview process about salary if not provided upfront.

If disclosing salary voluntarily, do so if comfortable. If moving to a larger market with a higher cost of living, it might help to determine if the position offers fair value. Also, do not lie about previous salaries. Employers can usually spot that easily and will likely dismiss dishonest applicants. For further help, it is important to speak to a lawyer.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Clients with Employment-Based Predicaments

Job seekers have enough to worry about without dealing with illegal and underhanded practices by potential employers. Sometimes, it takes a skilled advocate to help resolve issues. The Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. have the experience to fight for your rights. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Based in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Which Employment Laws Change Frequently?

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It can be difficult for businesses to keep up with all the changes passed by Congress and state legislatures. However, there are ways to focus attention on certain areas of law and how to possibly avoid any compromising situations with company policies. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a new set of challenges to businesses, some of which have come from needs for new regulations or emphasizing outdated ones. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments continue to alter the following laws.

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage may be the most important law to follow. It varies greatly by state and even county in some states. The rules affect hourly and salaried workers. Exempt workers often see their salary floor adjust based on the local minimum wage. If employees travel for work or operate in multiple jurisdictions, that can also affect wages.

Paid Sick and Family Leave

Paid sick leave and family leave laws are starting to appear in different states and cities, often with different language and guarantees for employees. Many of these laws create challenges for managers and Human Resource (HR) professionals. These professionals may not correctly apply hours or unnecessarily penalize workers for opaque policies.

Legalization and Decriminalization of Recreational Marijuana

More states are now enacting or forming legislation that decriminalizes recreational cannabis. That may alter business practices of drug testing employees. While some states may legalize it, marijuana remains a controlled substance on the federal level and is illegal. Any company looking to do business with the federal government or any of its departments or entities may want to maintain restrictions until otherwise clarified. Additionally, many states have put new restrictions on what employers can ask or demand of job applicants. This can make questions about criminal background or salary history obsolete.

How can Companies Adapt to Remote Work Regulations?

Many businesses have allowed employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the decision has kept millions healthy and productive, the long-term ramifications are evident. Companies must still manage workers operating from home; this includes providing for all breaks, establishing consistent expectations for work output and duties, and making sure employees are in Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) compliance with their work. It is important for employers to communicate clearly and consistently to reinforce expectations and policies.

While it may not be as easy to comply with labor laws, if most workers stay out of the office, there is still a mandate to meet the requirements. Employers can use websites or emails to fulfill their obligations; this can allow for active verification of receipt or engagement by employees, as well as the ability to update with ease. Companies and employees should expect working from home to continue even after the pandemic ends. Adapting to policy changes can create new expectations that can help keep employees satisfied and retain talent.

How Should Companies Adapt?

It can be very difficult to stay compliant with all changes. If businesses can afford to keep wage floors elevated across multiple jurisdictions, it may help worker retention and attract better applicants. Many multi-state companies utilize uniform policies for hiring, leave, and other areas that give the most generous options to workers. Uniform policies also reduce the amount of potential changes that come from new laws and the amount of resources spent monitoring reform efforts. For help with complex litigation matters and abiding by company policies, it is wise to consult with an employment lawyer.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Business Owners Monitor Employment Law Changes

Following various legislation while trying to run a business is challenging, but legal counsel can help. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. have the experience and insight necessary to keep you focused on your success. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

Is My Company in Compliance with Changing Employment Laws for 2021?

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Now is a good time to check if companies are compliant with new employment laws passed last year. Congress, state legislatures, and the courts altered employment law throughout 2020. Certain states mandated new topics to cover and shifts in employment philosophy make other subjects more relevant. States may require or recommend training on:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Work-site safety
  • Industry-specific subjects
  • Ethics and compliance
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Unconscious bias

For managers and other supervisory personnel, they may need additional training on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), performance management, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other topics. All trainings should be documented, and employees should achieve the necessary assessment scores. When not using computer-based modules with integrated sign-ins to verify completion, keep sign-in sheets and other paperwork in one place or file.

Is the Employee Handbook Current?

It is important to keep up with the laws that may affect certain policies already in place in employee handbooks. Laws will vary by state, which can make it confusing for employers operating in multiple locations. For drug testing policies, look to see if they should be altered. Many companies operate in multiple states and some states who legalized recreational cannabis abandoned testing unless specifically required in some industries.

Many companies allowed employees to work from home in 2020 due to the pandemic. That forced some adjustments to those policies. If the company wants to protect employees by allowing them to work from home when possible, make sure the handbook follows any new laws passed. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if work from home does not create an undue hardship on business operations, more employees may be allowed to stay home instead of working on site.

With the federal government passing multiple relief packages to combat the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there have been new programs to allow paid leave for parents who lost childcare or have children learning from home. Other cities and states created new or expanded paid leave laws. COVID-19 has also created awareness around personal safety. Multiple states adopted new worker protections while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced new safety procedures specific to the pandemic. If this was not updated during 2020, affected policies should be changed for this year. Additionally, the Supreme Court altered Title VII language to include sexual orientation and gender identity under sex discrimination.

Has the Application Process Been Updated?

Over half the states in America now have some form of banning requested salary histories for hiring applicants, including most states in the northeast. Even within those states, there are different rules for specific cities and counties. Other states and municipalities have altered rules on what can be asked of candidates, such as prior arrests or other considering factors that may not directly apply to the position. Thirty-four states also have legislation that prevents or limits employers from asking about criminal history as an effort to reduce recidivism.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Employers Stay Compliant with Changing Employment Laws

It can be difficult to keep track of all the legislative changes that may affect your business. Oftentimes, slight alterations can have a bigger impact than high-profile bills. Let the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. guide your company through the changing landscape of COVID-19 policies and how it affects your business. Call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Based in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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What is Political Workplace Discrimination?

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Discussing Salary

A recent social media post has sparked controversy online. An alleged posting stated that a company is seeking job applicants that are not liberal. The business is looking for someone who is logical and reasonable and went on to say that liberals do not represent what the company is looking for. Whether or not this post is legitimate or fake, it does raise an important question; can an employer refuse to hire or fire someone based on their political beliefs? In some instances, an employee does have legal protections.

It is common today to see political tensions online, at home, or even in the workplace. Political conversations may lead to heated debates, and an employee may feel as though they are subject to termination in the workplace for their political beliefs. The extent of protection against political discrimination depends on if the employer is a private or public entity.

Are There Federal Laws Against Political Discrimination?

As of now, there are no federal laws that protect workers from political discrimination since political views do not belong to a protected class. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited to discriminate employees based on their race, sex or gender, age, national origin, disability, or another protected characteristic. Political views do not fall within a protected class, but it may be connected to one. For example, if an African American employee goes to a Black Lives Matter movement and they are fired, they may argue that they were wrongfully terminated because they belong to a protected class. Additionally, an at-will employer may fire a worker at any time without notice. In this case, an employee may not even be aware of the reason for their termination.

What if It is a Private Business?

Many workers may wonder whether political discrimination violates First Amendment rights. The First Amendment allows freedom of speech and protects political and religious views, but only from government action. Some employees in the public sector may argue that their First Amendment rights were violated; however, employees who work for private employers are likely not eligible to make this argument.

Many states and private employers protect their employees’ political activism and views as long as it does not adversely impact the workplace. For example, if a worker is soliciting co-workers or handing out political pamphlets, it may cause division and tension. Employees should also be mindful about social media posts. If the posts violate company policies or raise implications, they may be subject to termination.

What Should I Do if I Have a Discrimination Claim?

Employees should keep in mind that intent and the extent of their political activities will largely impact a claim for discrimination. There must be concrete evidence of discrimination, and this may be difficult to prove. If a worker belongs to the public or private sector, it will greatly affect a claim as well. Since there are many complexities, it is imperative that an employee speaks to an employment lawyer about their legal options. A lawyer will thoroughly evaluate their client’s case and determine the best course of action.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Workers Against Unlawful Discrimination

Employees have rights in the workplace, and their political views may be protected in some cases. Proving political discrimination can be difficult, but a Philadelphia employment lawyer at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help you with your case. Depending on the specifics, a discrimination claim might be valid. Complete our online form or call 215-574-0600 for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.