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Law Enforcement Audio and Video Recordings: How the New Law Impacts Your Police Department

As Published in the August 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Tue 8th Aug, 2017 By: Julie Aquino


            On July 7, 2017, Governor Wolf signed new legislation into law (Act 22) that goes into effect on September 5, 2017. The new law enacts significant legal changes with respect to police audio and video recordings, including body camera recordings. The law amends the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act, as well as state law pertaining to public requests for police audio and video recordings. Below is a summary of the areas of law changed under Act 22.



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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Former Employees Have No Rights under Personnel Files Act

As Published in the August Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Tue 8th Aug, 2017 By: Brad Betack


     In a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that employers are not obligated under the Personnel Files Act to allow former employees, even those recently separated, to insect their personnel file. Haubrich v. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 2017 WL 2651980 (Pa. June 2017). The case centered on the definition of “employee” under the Act which is “[a]ny person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence.”  The term “employee” does not include applicants for employment or any other person.  43 P.S. § 1321.
 
     The Personnel Files Act provides an “employee” with the right to insp...

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Recent Court Filing Sheds Light on DOL’s Overtime Stance under Trump Administration

As Published in the August Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Tue 8th Aug, 2017 By: Brad Betack


     Employers have been keeping a close eye on the Department of Labor as to what stance the Trump Administration would take on the revised overtime regulations originally planned to go into effect under the Obama Administration.  In a June 30, 2017 filing with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Labor disclosed its intentions to re-write the Obama-era overtime regulations.

Background

     In 2016, under President Barack Obama, the Department of Labor introduced rules increasing the minimum salary level for employees to qualify for many of the white collar exemptions under the Fair Labo...

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The Third Circuit Confirms a First Amendment Right to Record Police Officers

As published in the Pennsylvania Insider Newsletter July, 2017


Published on: Fri 14th Jul, 2017 By: Joshua Hausman


Last Friday, the Third Circuit issued its opinion in the case of Richard Fields v. City of Philadelphia, in which it confirmed that the recording of police officers by private citizens is protected by the First Amendment.  The Third Circuit has now joined a growing consensus of other circuit courts in holding that the act of recording police officers performing their official duties in public—whether through videos, photographs, or audio recordings—is protected conduct.  After this decision, Pennsylvania municipalities are officially on notice: ensure that your policies and training recognize the right of the public to record police officer activities, or a First Amendm...

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Smile, You’re On Body Camera! Pennsylvania’s New Law Clears Hurdles For Wider Adoption of Police Body Cameras, and Changes How Requests for Recordings Will Be Handled

As published in the Pennsylvania Insider Newsletter July, 2017


Published on: Fri 14th Jul, 2017 By: Joshua Hausman


On Friday, July 7, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 22 of 2017.  The law changes dramatically how police body camera footage is treated under Pennsylvania law.  That same day, the Governor announced that the Pennsylvania State Police have received a $52,000 federal grant to help fund a pilot program for body-worn cameras.  The timing is not coincidental.  Act 22 encourages more widespread adoption of police body cameras by removing body camera footage from Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act.  Under the Wiretap Act, it is a felony of the third degree for any person to intentionally intercept, disclose, or use any wire, electronic, or oral communication. &n...

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Independent Contractors: What you Need to Know About DOL Interpretation

As published in the Pennsylvania Insider Newsletter June, 2017


Published on: Fri 14th Jul, 2017 By: Julie Aquino


     On June 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a change with respect to its interpretation of the law pertaining to independent contractors and joint employment. To understand the changes, we have to revisit 2015. As part of the Obama administration’s “push to give America a raise”, the DOL in July 2015 announced a new interpretation regarding independent contractors. The DOL took the position in 2015 that “most workers are employees under the Fair Standard Labors Act’s broad definitions” and found that employers increasingly were misclassifying workers as independent contractors. Recall that in 2015 companies such as Uber and Lyft were emerging as a part of the n...

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds that Minimum Staffing Requirements are Not a Managerial Prerogative

As Published in the Pennsylvania Insider Newsletter, April 7, 2017


Published on: Fri 7th Apr, 2017 By: John P. McLaughlin


In the City of Allentown v. International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302, No. 24 MAP 2016 (March 28, 2017), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court and ruled the issue of shift manning for fire fighters is not a managerial prerogative but a valid subject of collective bargaining. 
   
The Court’s opinion, authored by Justice Todd, found that the issue of shift manning has a closer nexus to firefighter safety than its effect on the City’s managerial responsibilities of budgeting and overall staffing.  As a result, minimum shift manning requirements are not a per se managerial prerogative and may be within the power of an Act 111 interest arbit...

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Affordable Care Act Update

As published in the April Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 7th Apr, 2017 By: David E Mitchell


        The Affordable Care Act recently survived another challenge, but changes will continue to be considered at the federal level.  A vote was scheduled for March 23, 2017 on a potential replacement bill that would have repealed and replaced significant parts of the Affordable Care Act.  That vote was ultimately canceled due to differences of opinion regarding the contents of the bill that left it without enough votes to pass in the House of Representatives.
        For now there are no immediate plans to bring an ACA repeal bill to a vote in Congress, but it is likely there will be in the future.  The proposed replacement bill, entitled the America...

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Website Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

As Published in the April Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 7th Apr, 2017 By: Shon K Worner


        Is your municipal website or mobile application accessible to people with disabilities? If a disabled person who uses assistive technology tried to access your municipal website, such as a visually impaired person who uses a screen reader or a physically disabled person who uses voice recognition software to control their computers with verbal commands because they cannot manipulate a mouse, would your municipal website and the services provided through it be accessible to these individuals? These are questions that you may not have previously considered, but in light of a recent spate of lawsuits in the private sector revolving around these issues, they are something to which you should ...

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Are Your Volunteer Firefighters Municipal Employees?

As published in the April Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 7th Apr, 2017 By: Brad Betack


In Emmaus v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, the Commonwealth Court, by a 4-3 vote, recently affirmed a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) decision, finding that an employer-employee relationship existed between the Borough of Emmaus and members of its local volunteer fire department.  As a result, the firefighters, long believed to be volunteers, now have the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining with the Borough over wages and other terms and conditions of their newly confirmed employment by the Borough.  
Despite the designation as a “volunteer” fire department, the Commonwealth Court found that the Borough Council’s actions, in paying hourly wages to the firef...

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Essential 2017 Contract Negotiation - Steps You Should Be Taking Now

As published in the Pennsylvania Insider Newsletter, March 2017


Published on: Wed 29th Mar, 2017 By: Patrick Harvey

       Your preparation for 2017 contract negotiations should begin now with the below listed essential steps.  These steps apply to all contract negotiations and will lead to the achievement of your bargaining goals.  For unions that have the ability to request contract interest arbitration (police, fire, etc.) completion of these steps will prepare your municipality for any arbitration.

Step 1: Have experienced labor counsel review the contract that is expiring along with the pension plan and pension ordinance.  Labor counsel should first identify any illegal contractual provisions or pension benefits that should be...

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Asking for Salary History: Are you Violating the Equal Pay Act?

As Published in the January, 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 3rd Feb, 2017 By: Joshua Hausman

In January 2017, the City of Philadelphia passed legislation prohibiting employers from inquiring about salary history from job applicants. In the same month, the City of Pittsburgh passed legislation that prohibits the City of Pittsburgh from making the same inquiries during its hiring process and encourages other employers to follow suit. Why the sudden interest in restricting use of salary history? The answer lies in a decades-long effort to close the wage gap between the genders starting with passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, which prohibits employers from discrimina...

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The EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

As Published in the January, 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 3rd Feb, 2017 By: Brad Betack

On November 21, 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance on national origin discrimination, its first such update on the issue since its 2002 compliance manual.  The Guidance provides in-depth information as to how “national origin discrimination” is defined, explains how the law would apply in specific workplace situations, and provides a question and answer publication on the guidance.

 The Guidance defines national origin discrimination as discrimination “because an individual (or his or her ancestors) is from a certain place or has the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a particula...

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Preliminary Injunction Halts Implementation of New FLSA Overtime Rules

As Published in the January, 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 3rd Feb, 2017 By: Brad Betack

Just days prior to its implementation, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction, stopping enactment of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, which would have increased the salary threshold for employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, potentially making millions of employees eligible for overtime compensation.

The rules, which increased the overtime FLSA salary threshold for employees to qualify for many of the white collar exemptions (bona fide executive, administrative or professional exemptions) were set to be implemented on December 1.  The new rules would have raised the minimum weekly salary threshold for exempt white collar employees from $455 ($23,660 on an annual basis) to $9...

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EEOC Releases Data Regarding Discrimination Charges Filed in 2016

As Published in the January, 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 3rd Feb, 2017 By: Julie Aquino

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released data for 2016, including data on the number of charges received. According to the report the EEOC received 91,503 charges of discrimination for fiscal year 2016. Below is a breakdown of the charges filed by category—notably, retaliation remains at the top of the list. 



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Anti-Harassment Training: Are Your Employees Getting the Message?

As Published in the January, 2017 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Fri 3rd Feb, 2017 By: Julie Aquino

     According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, decades of employer-required sexual harassment training has done little to decrease the volume of administrative charges filed each year alleging workplace sexual harassment.  In a publication released in June 2016 titled SELECT TASK FORCE ON THE STUDY OF HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE (EEOC June 2016), the EEOC noted that one-third of the 90,000 charges it received in 2015 included a harassment allegation.  As the federal entity responsible for investigating and remediating workplace harassment, the EEOC rightfully became concerned and commissioned a task force to investigate the effectiveness of antidiscrimination training.    


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Health Insurance Opt-Out Payments Could Make Coverage Unaffordable

As Published in the October, 2016 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 30th Jan, 2017 By: David E Mitchell

           On July 8, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations detailing the rather remarkable position that opt-out or waiver payments to employees who decline employer-provided health insurance are a form of salary reduction for employees who take the coverage instead of the payment and therefore must be counted when determining whether the coverage is affordable under the Affordable Care Act.  Fortunately the regulations outline a strategy to avoid this strange result if cer...

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The strongest public sector law practice in Pennsylvania just got stronger.


Published on: Wed 7th Sep, 2016 By: CDB P&M

After many years of working collaboratively behind the scenes, two of Pennsylvania’s best-known and most accomplished public employment practices are taking center stage together.

The addition of shareholders Patrick J. Harvey and John P. McLaughlin and associate Bradley J. Betack to CDBP&M brings outstanding depth and breadth of labor and employment law experience to municipal clients across the Commonwealth. Our longtime principal, Brian P. Gabriel, has also been named a shareholder of the firm.

Through our offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, we bring municipalities throughout the Commonwealth unmatched labor and employment law experience and superior re...

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DOL Announces New Salary Thresholds for Exempt Employees under the FLSA

As Published in the June, 2016 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Leon A. Parker

       On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced forthcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") which will increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay. The changes announced by the DOL will go into effect December 1, 2016. 

       Under the FLSA, employers are generally required to pay time and a half to employees working in excess of forty (40) hours per work week, although employees engaged in fire protection or law enforcement may be paid overtime on a "work period" basis from 7 consecutive days to 28 consecutive days in length. Employers are exempted from paying overtime to employees who qualify under so called "...

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Dismissal of Employee Who Violated Return to Work Agreement by Consuming Alcohol Deemed Lawful Under the DA

Published in February 2014 PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Brian Gabriel

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a claim under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) brought by an employee who was terminated for violating the terms of a return to work agreement that precluded any consumption of alcohol. Ostrowski v. Con-way Freight, Inc., 2013 WL 5814131 (3d Cir. Oct. 30, 2013). The employee (Ostrowski) was employed by Con-way as a Driver Sales Representative. Con-way is subject to motor carrier safety regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation a...

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Drug and Alcohol Testing: Key Concepts for Pennsylvania Public Employers

As Published in the June 2014 PELRAS Newsletter update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Julie Aquino

All public employers should have a comprehensive, written drug and alcohol policy. A well-crafted drug and alcohol policy provides guidance to supervisors and sets forth the specific and legally recognized bases for testing.  Without a policy, supervisors are left to guess when testing is appropriate and under what circumstances.  Supervisors must know when they can test, how to test and should be cautioned against arbitrary enforcement not only be...

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Union Elections: Understanding How the Process Works


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Christopher Gabriel


Elections for county office have a long history in this Commonwealth, but elections among public-sector workers on the question of whether to form a union for collective bargaining are a relatively more recent phenomenon, resulting from the enactment in 1970 of the Public Employee Relations Act (also known as Act 195) that gave most county employees the right to unionize.  As more county governments are faced with unionization efforts, it is important to understand the process by which union representation occurs in Pennsylvania.  This article will review the Act 195 petition and election process, and describe the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board’s rules for conducting elections.  W...

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Commonwealth Court Defines "Secondary Boycott" Under PLRA

As Published in the February 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: David E Mitchell

Section 6(2)(d) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act ("PLRA") makes it an unfair labor practice for a police or fire labor organization to "engage in a secondary boycott" of an employer.  The term "secondary boycott" was not defined by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ("PLRB") or any Pennsylvania appellate court until late last year when the Commonwealth Court ruled in Chambersburg Borough v. PLRB, No. 2008 C.D. 2013, 2014 WL 6807216 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014). As a matter of first impression, the court explained that an actual strike or work stoppage need not occur for a labor organization to engage in a secondary boycott under Section 6(2)(d)—rather, a secondar...

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Mandatory Child Abuse and Background Clearances for Employees and Volunteers: Do You Know About Important Changes in Pennsylvania Law?

As Published in the February 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Julie Aquino

In response to the Jerry Sandusky case, the Pennsylvania General Assembly made sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law in late 2014. As part of the changes, in October 2014 Governor Corbett signed Act 153 of 2014. Act 153 impacts, among others, all paid employees and unpaid volunteers in Pennsylvania who have "direct contact with children", or who are "responsible for the welfare of a child." 23 Pa.C.S. §§6344(a), 6344.2(a). The law defines "direct contact with children" as "[t]he care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children." The law also impacts any individual "seeking to provide child-care services under contract with a child-care facility or program." 


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Pa. Supreme Court Upholds Statutory Cap on Damages For Claims Against Political Subdivisions

As Published in the February 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Julie Aquino

In Zauflik  v. Pennsbury School District, No. 1 MAP 2014 (Pa. Nov. 19, 2014), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania considered the constitutionality of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act ("PSTCA"), which places a $500,000 cap on damages recoverable from political subdivisions for tort injuries.  While the Court had empathy with the Plaintiff who suffered life changing injuries, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the cap, opining that it was up to the legislature to change the law not the Court. Had the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion, it would have eliminated a shield of legal protections in the PSTCA that insulates local governments and schools statewide from paying out high damage awards for catastrop...

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Jury Holds Employer Liable for Failure to Accommodate Religious Belief

As Published in the February 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: David E Mitchell

Reasonable accommodation is a familiar concept to employers accustomed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, but it also applies to situations involving religious beliefs.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion.  Under Title VII employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs or practices conflict with workplace requirements, unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer.  Plaintiffs alleging a failure to accommodate religious beliefs may establish a prima facie case of religious discrimination by demonstrating that they: (1) held a sincere religious belief that conf...

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Phoning It In: Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?

As Published in the June 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Shon K Worner

While the concept of telecommuting (allowing employees to work from home) is not a new one, a recent court decision from a neighboring jurisdiction provides instruction to employers who are faced with a request from an employee seeking to telecommute as an accommodation. In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that where regular, in-person attendance at the work site is an essential function of the job, telecommuting is not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").

In Ford, the claimant was a Ford employee who acted as an intermediary between steel suppliers and parts...

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New Child Protective Services Law Broadens Definition of "Mandatory Reporter"

As Published in the June 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Julie Aquino

You probably know by now that the recently amended Child Protective Services Law require pre-employment and triennial background clearances for employees, age fourteen or older, who have direct contact with children (hint: see the February PELRAS Update). Do you know that those amendments also greatly expanded which individuals are "mandatory reporters" of suspected child abuse in Pennsylvania?  

The new law names fifteen categories of adults over the age of 18 who are now mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse. Included are, among others, the following individuals: (1) "an individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, ac...

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Are you Keeping Employee Medical Information Confidential and Managing Personnel Files Properly?

As Published in the June 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Leon A. Parker

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") employee medical information must be kept confidential and separate from personnel files. This separate medical file should be in a locked cabinet or apparatus and only accessible by a human resources professional, or a municipal manager. Although supervisors can be told medical information about an employee when it relates to the job, accommodations or work restrictions, supervisors should not be given copies of medical records. As for records that are stored electronically, such as .pdf files, these must also be accessible only by a human resources professional or municipal manager. Employers can be sued under the ADA for failing to abide by these confidentiality rules.

Jury Holds Employer Liable for Failure to Accommodate Religious Belief

As Published in the February 2015 PELRAS Newsletter Update


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Joseph M. Motto

Reasonable accommodation is a familiar concept to employers accustomed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, but it also applies to situations involving religious beliefs.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion.  Under Title VII employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs or practices conflict with workplace requirements, unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer.  Plaintiffs alleging a failure to accommodate religious beliefs may establish a prima facie case of religious discrimination by demonstrating that they: (1) held a sincere religious belief that conf...

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It’s No Picnic…Federal Action Impacting Employment Law


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Gretchen B Love

The United States Supreme Court and federal agencies have been busy this spring and summer issuing decisions and regulations that impact how all employers, including public sector employers, manage complex employment issues.  Simply stated, the federal courts and government are not making it easier to navigate the employment relationship.  It is incumbent upon every municipal manager and/or human resource professional to understand the impact of these decisions and regulations to ensure that your community does not inadvertently violate an employee’s or applicant’s rights. 

Pregnancy Discrimination Update

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision...

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Child Protective Services Law Background Clearances Update

As Published in the November, 2015 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Julie Aquino


You probably know that the Child Protective Services Law ("CPSL") was amended to require background checks for all paid employees, age 14 or older, who have "direct contact with children" or who are "responsible for the welfare of a child." The update on this front is that the General Assembly further changed some of the provisions of this law through additional amendments enacted on July 1, 2015. 

The 2014 amendments to the CPSL were a major change in the law for Pennsylvania employers, requiring criminal background clearances for covered employees. The three clearances required come from the Pennsylvania State Police ("PSP"), the FBI, and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services ("DHS...

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Paid Suspension is not an Adverse Employment Action in Title VII Discrimination Claims

As Published in the November, 2015 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Joseph M. Motto


A plaintiff must suffer an "adverse employment action" in order to state a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Adverse employment actions" include, among others actions, terminations, suspension, demotions, refusal to hire, failure to promote, etc. In Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Auth. ("SEPTA"), 796 F.3d 323 (3d Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently joined six of its federal sister courts in holding that a paid suspension does not constitute an adverse employment action for purposes of discrimination claims under Title VII.

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Dramatic Changes for FLSA Exempt Requirements

As Published in the November, 2015 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: David E Mitchell


The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations that would convert many employees who are currently exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements into non-exempt employees who would be entitled to overtime pay if they work more than forty hours in a week.  

The FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements do not apply to "any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity"  29 U.S.C.A. § 213(a)(1).  The Department of Labor’s FLSA regulations detail duty-related requirements for each of these exempt categories, which were revised exte...

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Peake Performance: Commonwealth Court rules lifetime employment ban unconstitutional

As Published in the February, 2016 Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Paul Lalley

One of the more controversial topics in public employment is the role that a person’s criminal past should play in hiring decisions.  On one side is the "ban the box" movement, which seeks to bar employers from asking people, in an initial employment application, if they have ever been convicted of a crime.  On the other side is the movement towards expansion of mandatory criminal background checks and categorical bans on employment in certain public sector jobs based on a person’s criminal history, as evidenced by recent amendments to the Public School Code of 1949 and the Child Protective Services Law.  

The Commonwealth Court wei...

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Really, not working might constitute a reasonable accommodation under the ADA?! Who knew?

As Published in the June Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Shon K Worner

So you have an employee who has exhausted their leave allotment but now they are asking for additional time off in order to accommodate their ability to return to work—must you engage in an interactive process with them to determine whether permitting the additional leave might constitute a reasonable accommodation in the absence of an undue hardship? According to the courts and a very recent guidance document issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the answer to this question is a resounding "yes!"

As we all know, the EEOC enforces the Americans with Disabi...

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Fired But Still "Currently Employed"!?! -- The Commonwealth Court’s Interesting Interpretation of the Personnel Files Act

As Published in the June Issue of the PELRAS Newsletter


Published on: Mon 8th Aug, 2016 By: Paul Lalley

        Pennsylvania’s Personnel Files Act, 43 P.S. §§ 1321—1324, gives certain rights to inspection of specified materials in one’s personnel file to "any person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence."  So if you have been fired, one would think that you do not have the right under the Act to demand access to your personnel file a week later, right?  

Wrong!  In Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 131 A.3d 567 (Pa. Commw. 2016), the Commonwealth Court held that the Personnel Files Act applied to a woman ...

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Michael Palombo Selected as Pa Super Lawyer for 2014

Published on: Thu 29th May, 2014


Published on: Wed 4th Jun, 2014 By: Michael Palombo

Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller, P.C., is pleased to announce that Michael A. Palombo has been named a Pa Super Lawyer for 2014. Mr. Palombo is a shareholder, practicing in the areas of labor and employment, municipal law/school law, administrative law and appellate law. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. According to Mr. Palombo, "I am honored to be chosen as a Pa Super Lawyer. I am humbled to be included with such talented and dedicated attorneys." ...

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