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Late last year, Pennsylvania legislators introduced House Bill 1938, the “Freedom to Work Act” (the “Act”), an outright ban on “covenant[s] not to compete” in Pennsylvania. Under the Act, “a covenant not to compete is illegal, unenforceable and void as matter of law.”

On December 11, 2017, the NLRB ruled that an ALJ in Pittsburgh properly accepted a partial settlement offered by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) despite objections from the agency’s general counsel and the charging party. The decision swiftly reverses Obama-era policy and restores the “reasonableness” settlement standard.

Employers commonly find themselves answering the following question: What right does a former employee have to access his or her personnel file? Often, after an employer terminates an employee, that employee and/or the employee’s attorney demands access to the employee’s personnel file. Up until a recent decision out of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on this issue, employers found themselves in a precarious position of whether they granted the former employee’s request. The Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry case now equips employers with the clear right to say no to the former employee’s request. 162 A.3d 384 (Pa. 2017).

With the recent buzz about President Donald Trump’s removal of federal protections for transgender students that were implemented under the Obama Administration, the states and school systems have been left to determine if and how to implement protections for transgender students.

There have been many recent, important developments in the area of paid sick leave in Pennsylvania. Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania (the “Appeals Court”) affirmed the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County’s (the “Trial Court”) ruling invalidating the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (“PSDA”).

It is only fitting that, on this day, May the 4th, which has become known colloquially as Star Wars Day, we bring you this update on Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Ordinance saga which could send significant ripples throughout the galaxy.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law (Act 161) in November that amends the Pennsylvania Banking Code to permit the use of payroll debit cards, with certain conditions. Employers who wish to consider the payroll debit card option for paying employees (or who already are doing so) should review the specifics of the law to ensure they are in compliance when this law takes effect on May 4, 2017

On January 23, 2017, a noteworthy and interesting bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. House Bill 38, which was introduced and sponsored by fifteen (15) State Representatives, is aimed at expanding the scope of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”) to preclude and protect individuals from workplace discrimination stemming from the lawful ownership, use, possession, transportation and storage of a firearm. In substances, the PHRA is a Pennsylvania state law that bars workplace discrimination based on various protected classifications such as race, color, gender, national origin, age and a physical or mental disability. Under the PHRA, an individual who has been subject to workplace discrimination due to one of the enumerated protected classification has the right to file a lawsuit against his or her current or former employer seeking to recover various damages including back wages, emotional distress and attorneys’ fees. Like employers in many states, Pennsylvania employers, regardless of merit, have seen an ever increasing number of employment discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former employees.

On July 9, 2012, David Moore filed a Charge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) (Charge No. 530-2012-02470) alleging that the City of Philadelphia failed to reassign him to a new job as a reasonable accommodation when a heart condition left him unable to perform his current job. Instead, the City of Philadelphia terminated his employment.

The ink has yet to dry on Philadelphia’s newly-passed Wage Equity Ordinance and the Pennsylvania Senate has already passed a Bill that would preempt Philadelphia’s new law.

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