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So far Murphy Law has created 185 blog entries.
18 05, 2018

Are You Entitled To Take Family Leave?

By | 2018-05-18T01:18:59+00:00 May 18th, 2018|Family and Medical Leave Act Claims|0 Comments

Under What Circumstances Can You Apply For Family Leave? Pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an eligible employee working for a covered employer is entitled to unpaid leave in specified situations, including the birth of a child and to care for the newborn and following placement of a child for adoption or foster care. An employee can also request family leave if the employee has a serious health condition or is needed to care for a child, spouse, parent, or other qualifying family member who has a serious health condition, rendering the employee or family unable to care for his or her own basic needs. For example, an employee may request leave: • to provide care for a qualifying family member who is undergoing treatment for a serious health condition such as cancer or heart attack, or who requires care following surgery; • to provide transportation to and from medical appointments for a qualifying family member; • to provide psychological comfort and reassurance to a qualifying family member who has a serious health condition; • to provide respite or substitute care for others who are caring for the employee’s parent, spouse, or child who has a serious [...]

10 05, 2018

Can You Be Fired “At-Will” in Pennsylvania?

By | 2018-05-10T18:21:49+00:00 May 10th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

In most states, including Pennsylvania, employment is “at-will.” In general, an employer can fire an employee from his or her job at any time and for any reason without recourse by the employee. On the other end of the relationship, an employee can also quit his or her job at any time for any reason without recourse by the employer. There are a few important exceptions to the at-will doctrine. An employer cannot fire an employee for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. Employees are protected from such actions by employment discrimination statutes and other laws. Also, an employer cannot fire an employee if doing so violates the terms of an employment contract or other contract that sets the terms of the employment relationship. An employment contract can alter the at-will doctrine An employer and employee may enter into a contract that provides conditions of employment that supersede the at-will doctrine. For example, an employment contract can provide that the employee may only be fired for cause or specify the duration of employment. Another example of a contract that alters the at-will doctrine is a collective bargaining agreement that covers union employees and spells out the specific circumstances under which an employee [...]

4 05, 2018

Interference With Disability Rights Under The ADA

By | 2018-05-04T13:31:04+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

What is the difference between retaliation and interference with disability rights? In addition to prohibiting employers from “retaliating” against an employee for asserting his or her disability rights, the Americans With Disability Act (ADA) includes a provision prohibiting employers from “interfering” with an employee’s disability rights. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes “adverse action” against an employee with a disability for exercising rights that are protected under the ADA. Retaliation includes actions such as firing, demoting, providing a negative performance review, transferring the employee or cutting the employees’ hours. The interference provision prohibits conduct that is reasonably likely to interfere with statutorily protected or granted ADA rights. Interference includes coercion, threats, or intimidation by an employer against an employee who expresses an intent or attempts to assert his or her rights under the ADA. The interference provision protects employees from being deterred from asserting their disability rights. While similar to retaliation, the interference provision is broader, encompassing activity that may not rise to the level of the adverse action required to establish retaliation. An employer’s threats or coercion do not need to be carried out in order to violate the ADA’s interference provision. Nor do the threats need to actually [...]

27 04, 2018

Can You Be Fired For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

By | 2018-04-27T14:03:05+00:00 April 27th, 2018|Workers Compensation Retaliation|0 Comments

What is workers’ compensation? Workers' compensation provides no-fault insurance benefits to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses as a result of job-related incidents. Under the workers’ compensation system, employees or their dependents are entitled to medical treatment as well as compensation for lost wages arising from a work-related injury, illness, or death. Workers are covered for injuries or diseases that are caused or aggravated by job-related tasks, regardless of any pre-existing physical condition - or fault. Lost wages are paid to an injured worker during any period of rehabilitation and if permanent disability results from a work-related injury. Most employers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are mandated by law to provide workers' compensation coverage to employees. Under workers’ compensation systems, when a worker is injured on the job and files for workers’ compensation benefits, the worker is precluded from bringing a lawsuit against his or her employer for those injuries. That balance was created by law for the benefit of both employer and employee -- employees should not hesitate to assert their workers’ compensation rights. If a worker is discouraged from filing a claim or otherwise declines to do so, the employer receives all the benefit of the statutory protections [...]

19 04, 2018

Can You Be Fired For Talking About Your Job On Social Media?

By | 2018-04-24T16:35:39+00:00 April 19th, 2018|National Labor Relations Act Claims, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Federal Law Protects Employees’ Right to Communicate The right of employees to communicate with other employees is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects an employee’s right to engage in union activity or to join with one or more co-workers to attempt to improve working conditions. The law provides the right to discuss work issues and share information about pay, benefits, and working conditions with co-workers or with a union. The NLRA governs relationships between labor unions and employers and prohibits employers from interfering with labor organization rights. The NLRA also protects individual employees, whether or not those employees belong to a union. For example, if you believe that you aren’t being paid the same as other employees who are performing similar work, the NLRA provides the right to speak to your coworkers to determine if you have a valid complaint. The right of an employee to communicate with other employees to improve the terms and conditions of their employment is known as “protected concerted activity.” In general, protected concerted activity requires two or more employees working together to improve working conditions, pay, benefits, or other work-related issues. A single employee may engage in protected concerted [...]

12 04, 2018

Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

By | 2018-04-12T14:04:56+00:00 April 12th, 2018|Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What is Sexual Harassment? Sexual harassment involves unwelcome offensive sexual advances, communication, or conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment violates the law. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two types of situations where sexual harassment in the workplace becomes actionable – when it creates a hostile work environment and when a “quid pro quo” arrangement arises due to the sexual advances of a supervisor or other person in a position of power over the employee. What is hostile work environment sexual harassment? Hostile work environment sexual harassment involves speech or conduct that is severe enough to result in an intimidating or demeaning workplace, in turn affecting an employee’s job in a negative way. Hostile work environment sexual harassment can result from communication or conduct on the part of a supervisor, co-worker, subordinate, or non-employee (such as a customer or client). A victim of sexual harassment can be the employee to whom the conduct or communication is directed or another person who is impacted by the offensive communication or conduct. For example, inappropriate and unwelcome touching, as well [...]

6 04, 2018

Can You Be Fired For Attending Rehab for Alcoholism?

By | 2018-04-06T13:27:51+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Family and Medical Leave Act Claims|0 Comments

Is Alcoholism A Disability? Alcoholism can be considered a covered disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer may not discriminate against an individual based on a history of alcoholism if that person has been rehabilitated and no longer uses alcohol. In the absence of undue hardship, the employer must allow certain employees with a history of alcoholism to take leave to attend a rehabilitation program. An individual who returns to work and later has a relapse may also be protected under the ADA. The ADA protects alcoholics who are in recovery and no longer using alcohol. An individual who is actively using alcohol is not protected by the ADA. Employers are not required to hire or continue employment of an individual who is actively using alcohol. In addition to the protections provided by the ADA, the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) protects an eligible employee from being fired for taking leave to attend a rehabilitation program. The FMLA provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave each year for up to 12 weeks to address serious health conditions. Alcoholism rehabilitation and treatment for alcoholism that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment may be considered a health condition [...]

3 04, 2018

Have You Been Retaliated Against For Asserting Your Rights At Work?

By | 2018-04-03T14:58:46+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What is Retaliation? Retaliation takes place when an employee engages in "protected activity" and his or her employer takes “adverse action” against the employee because of that activity. An employee engages in protected activity when he or she objects to, or opposes, unlawful conduct such as employment discrimination. For example, if an employee complains that an employer denied a promotion based on the employee’s disability, that constitutes protected activity. If the employer transfers the employee to a less desirable job as a result of the complaint, that would constitute an adverse action and therefore, retaliation. Adverse actions include denial of promotion, failure to hire, denial or reduction of job benefits, demotion, providing lower performance evaluations, job transfers, changing schedules, and suspension or termination of employment. Verbal or physical abuse can also be adverse actions, as well as threats designed to deter participation in protected activity, such as threatening to report immigration status or to contact the police. Retaliation means any adverse action taken by an employer that might “deter a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity.” An employer is not only prohibited from taking action against the individual who complains about unlawful conduct or files a discrimination complaint. The [...]

23 03, 2018

Should You Sign A Severance Agreement?

By | 2018-03-23T16:26:43+00:00 March 23rd, 2018|Non-Compete Clauses, Severance Agreement Review|0 Comments

Signing a Severance Agreement Can Affect Your Rights When your employment comes to an end through a layoff, resignation, or termination and your employer offers a severance agreement, you are placed in a time-sensitive, emotional decision – whether to sign it. That decision can drastically alter your finances and possibly future job opportunities. Exercise caution if you are being pressured into signing a severance agreement on the spot. You may be entitled by law to a specified amount of time to consider the severance agreement before signing it. For example, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), an employee over the age of 40 who is laid off is entitled to 21 days to consider whether to sign a severance agreement. If part of a group layoff, the employee is entitled to 45 days under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), which also provides a seven-day right to revoke period after signing. What is a severance agreement? A severance agreement is a contract created by your employer that typically requires you to waive your right to sue in court for wrongful termination based on age, race, sex, disability, and other types of discrimination in exchange for a specified [...]

16 03, 2018

Can A Disabled Employee Request To Work From Home?

By | 2018-03-16T13:14:21+00:00 March 16th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

Is working at home a reasonable accommodation? An employee’s disability or medical condition may temporarily or permanently prevent the employee from accessing or reporting to the job site, or from performing his or her job functions there. If the employee can perform his or her job at home, without undue hardship to the employer, the employee can request to work at home as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is a modification that enables the employee to perform the essential job functions of his or her position. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Importantly, because working at home is a type of modification of workplace policy under the ADA, a disabled employee may request to work from home, even if other employees are not permitted to do so. What happens after an employee requests to work from home as a reasonable accommodation? Generally, following the employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation to work at home due to his or her medical condition or disability, the employer and employee engage in the “interactive process,” a meeting during which they strive to reach an agreement. The ADA requires that an employee [...]