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Employment Law in Pennsylvania

May 23rd, 2018
Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers handle all types of employment law cases.

Employment law covers a wide variety of topics. Some aspects are designed to protect job applicants from discrimination in the hiring process.  Others protect workers from being unfairly categorized as contract workers, being forced to work extra hours without overtime pay, being passed over for a promotion in a discriminatory way, and others.

Many fair employment issues are governed by federal requirements. Among the more important federal laws are:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: This act bans making hiring, promotion, and firing decisions based on discrimination of protected classes, including race, religion, or sex.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act: This act provides a minimum hourly wage for some workers. Currently, the rate is $7.25 per hour.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act: This act requires that employers provide a workplace free from recognized health and safety hazards.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act: This act requires employers to provide leave for situations such as childbirth, illness, or caring for a sick family member.

Several states, including Pennsylvania, have adopted laws to provide added protections for workers that go above and beyond the minimum federal requirements.

Pennsylvania Laws Governing Employment

The most important Pennsylvania laws governing employment relationships include:

  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
  • Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act
  • Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law
  • Equal Pay Law

Pennsylvania has sought to enhance employee protections in several ways. For example, in Pennsylvania:

  • Protections apply to employers having four or more employees, whereas the federal requirements apply typically to employers having 50 or more employees.
  • Protections against employment discrimination also impose individual liability on those found to have aided and abetted discrimination.
  • Overtime under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act cannot be calculated on a basis of a fluctuating work week.

Emerging Issues

Some areas of employment law are currently under review in Pennsylvania and are subject to change at any time. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is considering changes to the minimum wage and access to overtime pay.  This would apply to tens of thousands of employees in the state.

Another trend is the effort to ban-the-box or eliminate the conviction history question in the job application process. This protects former inmates from being automatically disqualified from being considered for a job.

Pennsylvania Courts

Employment law cases brought in Pennsylvania courts are largely determined on an evaluation of fairness. Questions on restrictive covenants, harassment, or classification will be addressed, considering fairness to both parties. It is important to be aware of the many Pennsylvania court rules, particularly those having to do with arbitration and trial practice, before filing a complaint. Not knowing these rules can have a significant negative impact on your case and unnecessary delays.

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Handle All Types of Employment Law Cases

If you believe you may have a case against your employer, we can help review the facts and analyze the situation. Our Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. can help you determine a strategy to efficiently and comprehensively resolve your case. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form to get started.

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