join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Does the Ban on Salary History Inquiries Violate the First Amendment? Ruling on Philadelphia Bill May Impact New York

On May 4, 2017, New York City joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Philadelphia when the Mayor signed legislation that bans employers from inquiring about the salary history of job applicants. These laws, which have the stated aim of reducing pay inequity along racial and gender lines, could have a wide-ranging influence on the way companies do business. The New York law is set to go into effect on October 31, 2017, although there is a possibility that the law’s implementation will be challenged, as the similar law has been in Philadelphia.

An “Employee’s” Right to Inspect His or Her Personnel File in Pennsylvania

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).

Philadelphia Adopts Regulations Clarifying the Still-Stayed Ordinance Banning Salary History Inquiries

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations has adopted regulations interpreting portions of a City ordinance, which if upheld, would prohibit employers from seeking applicants’ wage and benefits history.1 The Wage Equity Ordinance remains stayed pending resolution of litigation about its constitutionality.2 Nevertheless, any employer currently evaluating a comprehensive approach to state and local restrictions on salary history inquiries should review the regulations as part of the analysis.

Pennsylvania Courts Continue to Extend Theories of Liability in Nursing Home Malpractice Cases

A recently published opinion from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania provides guidance on when nursing home management companies may be found liable to their residents in nursing malpractice actions.

Transgender Rights – Where Does Pennsylvania Fit In?

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.

Former Employees Do Not Have Right to Inspect Personnel Files, Pennsylvania High Court Clarifies

Terminated employees, even those recently separated, are not entitled to inspect their personnel file under the Pennsylvania Inspection of Employment Records Law (the “Act”), according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, No. 30 EAP 2016 (June 20, 2017). This decision, authored by Justice David Wecht, puts an end to an employer’s previous conundrum of determining what constitutes “recently” separated when evaluating a former employee’s request to review his or her personnel file.

Pennsylvania Highest Court Has Spoken: Former Employees Are Not Entitled to Inspect Their Personnel Files

Since January 6, 2016, almost 18 months ago, in accordance with a decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, employers in the state of Pennsylvania have been required to allow recently separated employees access to their personnel files on the same footing as current employees. That 2016 decision reversed the common thinking among employers in Pennsylvania that only current employees had the right to access their personnel files, and that former employees—no matter how long ago they had been separated—were not entitled to such access. Fortunately for employers, in the recent opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, No. 30 EAP 2016 (June 20, 2017), that 2016 decision was reversed. The state supreme court held that a recently terminated employee is not an “employee” and, thus, is not entitled to inspect his or her personnel file according to the Pennsylvania Inspection of Employment Records Law (Personnel Files Act).

New Legislation Allows Philadelphia to Shut Down Local Businesses Who Violate Its Anti-Discrimination Laws

The City of Philadelphia will now have the authority to shut down a business within the city for an undefined “period of time” if the business severely or repeatedly violates Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination laws, under a bill signed by Mayor Kenney on June 22, 2017.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares IRE Provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act Unconstitutional

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found Section 306(a.2) of the Workers’ Compensation Act to be unconstitutional. The decision in Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Bd. (Derry Area School District) means that indemnity benefits are no longer subject to a cap.

Business Group Files Amended Complaint in Lawsuit Challenging Philadelphia Wage History Law

Philadelphia’s Wage History Ordinance, initially scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017, remains on hold. The Ordinance has been subject to a federal court stay pending resolution of a lawsuit for a preliminary injunction brought by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia agreed to halt enforcement of the Ordinance pending the litigation’s outcome. Following a motion to dismiss filed by the City, the court dismissed the lawsuit on May 30. Thereafter, on June 13, the Chamber filed an amended complaint.