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Pennsylvania Employers Have Legal Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care to Safeguard Employee Personal Info

On November 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in the Dittman v. UPMC case holding that employers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care in safeguarding their employees’ sensitive personal information stored by the employers on internet-accessible computer systems.

Philadelphia Moves One Step Closer To Providing A “Fair Workweek” For Retail, Food Service, And Hospitality Employees

In our October 3rd entry, we addressed the pending Fair Workweek Ordinance, currently being considered by Philadelphia City Council. The proposed Ordinance aims to provide predictable work schedules for Philadelphia’s 130,000 employees in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries and to help reduce the 26% poverty level in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Refuses to Extend Statute of Limitations for Employee's Exposure Claims

The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in an unpublished opinion, recently declined to extend the statute of limitations for workplace exposure claims brought by employees. In the time since the Tooey case was decided in 2013, Pennsylvania law has allowed employees to bring lawsuits against their employers if the diagnosis of an occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after the date of last exposure to the hazardous substance. However, the new case law did not alter the statute of limitations for bringing such claims.

Pennsylvania's Plan to Raise Minimum Salaries for Overtime-Exempt Workers to $48,000 Scrutinized

Pennsylvania's plan to raise the minimum salary for most overtime-exempt employees to nearly $48,000 has encountered a serious roadblock.

Philadelphia Considers A “Fair Workweek” For 130,000 Employees

In June 2018, Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym introduced legislation designed to improve predictability in scheduled shifts for employees in the retail, hospitality, and food services sector – the second largest sector of the Philadelphia economy.

Pennsylvania Commission Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Commonwealth's White Collar Exemption Regulations

In June, we reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) submitted to the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) a proposed rulemaking package that seeks to update the Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) exemptions to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act's (PMWA) overtime requirements. Among other things, the proposed changes would significantly increase the salary threshold required to meet the exemptions, automatically increase the salary threshold every three years, and change certain elements of the duties tests. As part of the rulemaking process, DLI requested comments on its proposed rulemaking from the public, members of the legislature, and IRRC.

Pennsylvania House Committee Holds Hearing on Proposal to Increase Number of Salaried Workers Eligible for Overtime

If an employee in Pennsylvania is paid a salary, as opposed to by the hour, that employee is not eligible for overtime no matter how low the salary or how high the number of hours he or she works in a particular week, right? Wrong! According to testimony on September 5, 2018, by senior members of the Wolf administration’s Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) before the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee, many Pennsylvania employers either do not know—or do not follow—the law. All salaried employees who are paid less than a certain threshold amount must be paid overtime. And even higher-salaried employees can qualify for overtime if their job duties do not fit within one of the three so-called “white collar” exemptions: the executive exemption, the administrative exemption, or the professional exemption.

Non-Compete News: Pennsylvania Considers the "Freedom to Work Act"

Executive Summary: Pennsylvania is entertaining legislation to ban all non-compete covenants. Like other states concerned with the effects of restrictions on the mobility of the workforce, the prohibition on non-compete agreements, Pennsylvania House Bill 1938, is founded on the Commonwealth’s interest in lowering the unemployment rate, promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and business expansion, improving existing business opportunities for qualified workers, and promoting unrestricted trade and mobility of employees in the workforce. 2017 PA H.B. 1938. Besides banning non-competes, the proposed law creates a private cause of action against any employer trying to enforce a non-compete covenant. Employers violating the law could be liable for compensatory and punitive damages and the former employee’s attorneys’ fees. The bill currently is before the House Labor & Industry Committee.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Will Hear Employer Appeal in State Minimum Wage Act Case

On February 2, 2018, we reported that General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC), the employer in a case brought by a class of salaried, nonexempt, current or former Pennsylvania store managers, assistant managers, or senior managers under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) (43 P.S. Secs. 333.101–333.115) had asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a 2–1 decision issued by the Pennsylvania Superior Court on December 22, 2017. The issue was the proper method of calculating the amount of overtime compensation owed to salaried, nonexempt employees.

Major Changes Proposed to Pennsylvania’s Overtime Rules

Employers with operations in Pennsylvania may want to take note of significant changes in the pipeline to the state’s wage and hour rules. Specifically, on June 23, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PA DLI) published proposed rulemaking containing drastic changes to some of the state’s white collar exemptions to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA).