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July 2017 Archives

Hostile work environment may arise from single incident

A Pennsylvania federal appeals court ruled that a single extreme discriminatory act, even if it happens in isolation, may be enough to create a hostile work environment that violates workers' rights. Two men who worked as general laborers filed a lawsuit after a supervisor used a racial slur in discussing the men's work. They complained about the incident to another supervisor and were fired after two weeks without being given an explanation. They were then rehired but let go for what the company claimed was a lack of work.

Understanding the 80/20 rule for tipped workers

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S., waiters and waitresses get most of their pay through tips given by patrons. However, the restaurant industry has faced an increasing number of lawsuits due to the 80/20 rule, which states that side work cannot occupy more than 20 percent of an employee's workweek without the employee being entitled to minimum wage.

Disabilities and the workplace

People with disabilities in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country may find it difficult to land a job. While the Americans with Disabilities Act requires qualified employees who have disabilities to be provided reasonable accommodations, it is contingent on the condition that it does not impose a significant hardship for the employer.

Court sides with employee after employer misinterprets FMLA

Pennsylvania workers who are struggling to assert their right to family leave might be encouraged by a ruling from a federal appeals court. It upheld a lower court's jury verdict in favor of the employee using time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for her autistic son.