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Interesting Pennsylvania Court Decision May Further Expand Pool Of Gig Workers

A state appellate court in Pennsylvania issued a ruling yesterday that should further aid the growth of the gig economy in the state, and if its reasoning is followed by courts in other states, could offer another helping hand to the nascent gig economy on a national scale. The court ruled that an unemployed man who picked up some shifts as an Uber driver did not disqualify himself from receiving unemployment benefits as a result of his gig work. This is good news for freelancers and businesses alike, as it removes one possible impediment that may have otherwise held people back from offering their services to gig economy companies.

Pennsylvania to Update Overtime Salary Threshold and Duties Tests

On January 17, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced an initiative to “modernize” Pennsylvania’s overtime rules.

Pennsylvania’s Proposed “Freedom to Work Act” Aims to Join California in Banning Non-Compete Agreements

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.”

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).

Ogletree Deakins | California | The Opportunities and Obligations of Venture Capital and Private Equity in the #MeToo Environment (February 01, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Glimmers of Hope? Pair of Recent PAGA Cases Provide Rare Procedural Victories for California Employers (January 31, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | California’s Salary History Ban: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (January 23, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | The ICEman Cometh? Recent War of Words Puts California Employers in the Crosshairs of National Immigration Debate (January 22, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Trial Court Properly Denied Attorneys’ Fees To Plaintiff Who Proved His Termination Was Substantially Motivated By His Disabilities, But Was Not The Prevailing Party At Trial (January 21, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Long-Awaited Housekeeper Injury Prevention Regulations (January 24, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | DLSE Publishes Voluntary Template for Required Employer AB 450 Notice (February 11, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Hotel Housekeeping Injury Standard – Likely to Go Into Effect Later This Year (January 21, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | As Marijuana Shops Thrive, California Employers Revisit Drug Policies (January 18, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Reminder! California Employers Must Provide Notice of the Federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit (January 15, 2018)