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Posts in Employment Law
Can Your Employer Enforce the Non-Compete Agreement After They Fire You?

As an employee you may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement prior to beginning work for an employer. Although the specific terms of a non-compete agreement can vary dramatically, the basic concept is the same in all non-compete agreements. The agreement will limit your employment options and/or conditions should you terminate your employment with this employer

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What Protects Me from On-the-Job Discrimination in Pennsylvania?

Despite monumental efforts by both public and private organizations and agencies to eliminate discrimination in the workplace over the past several decades, it does still occur far more often than most people realize. The good news, however, is that many types of employment discrimination are now illegal in the United States, meaning an employer may face serious penalties if the employer engages in discriminatory practices, or allows discrimination to occur in the workplace.

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Can You Be Terminated While on Pregnancy-Related Medical Leave?

Pregnancy and the birth of a child should be a joyous time in a woman’s life. The last thing an expectant or new mother should have to worry about is losing her job because of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, it is far from uncommon—even in the 21st century—for a woman to find out she has been terminated while on pregnancy-related medical leave. If you were terminated while on leave related to a pregnancy or the birth of a child in Pennsylvania, you may have the basis for legal action based on either state or federal employment laws

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Can the Company Just Ignore My Complaints about Harassment?

Although there are never any promises that your workplace will be exactly as you wish it to be, it should not be a place where you feel degraded, objectified, frightened or harassed. Unfortunately, however, that is the case sometimes. Despite state and federal laws making it illegal to engage in harassment in the workplace, it does still happen at an alarming rate. If you are the victim of harassment and you have filed a complaint with your supervisor to no avail, you may be wondering “Can the company just ignore complaints about harassment?”

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An Independent Contractor Agreement Does Not Make You Independent

Whether a worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor makes a significant difference in an employer’s duties and obligations toward the worker. The distinction governs everything from the applicability of wage and overtime law to unemployment and workers’ compensation eligibility. All too often employers misclassify workers in an effort to reduce or eliminate expenses and benefits to which the worker should lawfully be entitled. Both employers and workers should be aware that the presence of an independent contractor agreement does not, alone, serve to classify a worker as an independent contractor.

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Can My Company Refuse to Pay My Severance?

When the employer-employee relationship ends, it does not necessarily mean the employer’s financial obligation to the employee ends. Often, an employee is entitled to a severance package when his or her employment is terminated with an employer. If you have recently severed your relationship with your employer and your employer has yet to pay your severance, you may be wondering “Can my company refuse to pay my severance?” The answer to that question is likely going to be found in your employment contract.

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Why the Cure is Worse than the Pain in Wage Claims

Employees who feel they are owed wages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have the right to pursue a claim for those wages in a court of law. Employers faced with the threat of a wage payment lawsuit should seriously consider the amount of wages in controversy against what the employer could be forced to pay in damages and attorney fees if the employee prevails in a lawsuit. Often, the cure is worse than the pain in wage claims. The lesson to be learned for employers is if you are going to fight a wage claim you had better win.

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Employees, Don't Leave Your Unpaid Commissions Behind

If your current employer-employee relationship comes to an end, for any reason, don’t make the mistake of walking away and leaving unpaid commissions behind. All too often employees are told that commissions are forfeit, or otherwise not required to be paid, when an employee leaves a job. Understandably, the employee accepts the employer’s explanation and essentially walks away without receiving commissions that may be legally owed to the employee. Before you make that mistake, do a little research and consult with an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney to ensure that you don’t leave your money behind when you walk out the door.

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Am I Entitled to Severance If I Quit in Pennsylvania?

The employee-employer relationship can come to an end in a number of ways. What happens after the relationship terminates depends, to a large extent, on how the relationship terminated. More specifically, the benefits you receive and/or are entitled to after the relationship ends will depend on why your employment with the company ended. If you are considering quitting your job, you may be wondering “Am I entitled to severance if I quit in Pennsylvania?”

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What Is a Breach of an Employment Contract?

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as is the case in most states, employment is “at will” unless you have an employment contract with your employer. As an “at will” employee, your employer can fire you at any time and for any reason, as long as the reason for your termination is not discriminatory in nature. Likewise, an employee may quit his/her job at any time and for any reason if he/she is an “at will” employee. If, however, you have an employment contract with your employer, the employer-employee relationship is governed by the terms of the employment contract. As an employee working under an employment contract, you need to understand what constitutes a breach of contract in an employment contract.

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Can You Be Fired for No Reason If You Are over 50?

Unlike many countries around the world, workers in the United States enjoy a number of rights and protections while in the workplace. As an employee, for example, you are protected by state and federal laws from illegal discrimination in the workplace. While there are a number of state and federal laws that offer American workers protection in the workplace, there are also a number of common myths and misconceptions about those laws and rights. For example, can you be fired for no reason if you are over 50? That question raises the subject of age discrimination in employment, an area of the law that gives rise to many misconceptions among employees and employers alike.

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Am I Allowed to Negotiate My Employment Contract?

In most states, employment is “at will,” meaning you can be fired at any time and for any reason – unless you have an employment contract. In that case, the terms of the contract can determine under what conditions you can be terminated as well as what severance, if any, you will be entitled to should your employment terminate. If you have never been offered an employment contract before, it can be a bit intimidating. Your first question will likely be “Am I allowed to negotiate my employment contract?” The short answer is “yes.”

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When Are Wages Due If an Employee is Terminated, Quits, or Is Laid Off?

In the normal course of your employment you should receive a paycheck at specific intervals, such as every week, every two weeks, or even once a month. What happens, however, to wages due to you if you terminate your employment with the employer? When are wages due if an employee is terminated, quits, or is laid off in Pennsylvania? If you suddenly find yourself in that position, you may need to know what the law says about receipt of your final paycheck.

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Are Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable in Pennsylvania?

At some point in your career you may be asked, or required, to sign a non-compete agreement for a prospective or current employer. All too often an employee signs a non-compete agreement without really paying attention to the often complex and verbose language contained within the agreement. It isn’t until the employer-employee relationship ends that an employer notices how restrictive the provisions in the agreement actually are and how those provisions limit the employee’s immediate employment options.er.

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Uber Drivers – Employees or Independent Contractors?

Over the last century, the American workforce has gone through some fairly dramatic changes. Along the way, numerous state and federal laws have been passed in an effort to protect workers and ensure that they are treated fairly in the workplace. One issue that has remained at the forefront of employment law debates is the distinction between employees and independent contractors. Recently, that very issue was before a California labor commissioner after an Uber driver filed a claim against the company. As more “sharing” industries sprout up around the nation, the distinction between employees and independent contractors will continue to blur.

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Do I Have to Sign a Non-Compete to Keep My Job?

As an employee, any number of issues could come up at your job that could threaten your future employment with the company. One issue you may not have considered, until your employer brings it up, is a non-compete agreement. If your employer calls you in to the office one day and asks you to sign a non-compete agreement your first though will likely be “Do I have to sign a non-compete to keep my job?”

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Can My Employer Pay Comp Time Instead of Overtime?

Does your employer have a “banked hours” or “comp time” policy? If so, chances are good that your employer’s policy is violating federal law. The chances are also good that this comes as a shock to you given how common these polices are. Your next question may be “Why can’t my employer pay comp time instead of overtime?” The simple answer is that comp time, with few exceptions, violates the overtime laws found in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.

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I Have Worked for Three Years Without Meal Breaks. Do I Have a Claim?

Unlike worker in many other countries around the world, workers in the United States are protected in the workplace by a variety of state and federal laws aimed at creating and maintaining a safe and fair workplace. Although these laws go a long way toward regulating the employer-employee relationship, there are still a number of areas that are left to the employer’s discretion. One of those areas is meal breaks. Employees are often surprised to find that although many employers do provide scheduled meal breaks, there is no federal law requiring an employer to do so.

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Is an Insurance Agent Exempt from Overtime?

In the United States, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, protects workers from unfair labor practices by requiring that most workers be paid at least minimum wage and that most workers be paid overtime for time worked over 40 hours during a workweek. Overtime must be paid at the rate of one and one-held the worker’s regular hourly wage.  Some employees, however, are exempt from the overtime pay requirement found in the FLSA.

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