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.
Articles About Pennsylvania Labor And Employment Law.
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.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) responded to Governor Tom Wolf’s call to modernize Pennsylvania’s outdated overtime rules for “white collar” employees. On June 12, 2018, the DLI submitted to the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) a proposed rulemaking package that would update the Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) exemptions to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA).
The constitutionality of the Philadelphia ordinance aimed at regulating employers’ requests for and reliance on salary histories has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Philadelphia’s ban on salary history inquiries violates the First Amendment, a federal district court in Philadelphia has ruled in a 54-page opinion. The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia v. City of Philadelphia et al., No. 17-1548 (Apr. 30, 2018). Because the decision is based on the First Amendment, it has broader implications for salary history inquiry bans passed by various state and local governments.
A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision has upheld that successful plaintiffs are entitled to non-economic damages under Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law, 43 P.S. §§1421-1428 (the “Law”). In Bailets v. Pa. Turnpike Commission, 126 MAP 2016, J-91-2017, Pennsylvania’s high court affirmed an award of $1.6 million in non-economic damages to the plaintiff after finding that the defendant retaliated against him in violation of the Law. Whether non-economic damages are available under the Law was an issue of first impression in Pennsylvania. This decision serves as a cautionary tale to employers that are evaluating liability exposure in cases arising out of the Law.
In a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court brought the commonwealth into line with the majority of states in allowing predecessor law firms to bring quantum meruit claims against substituted counsel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Philadelphia’s Wage History Ordinance lives on, for now. The Ordinance, initially scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017, 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. On May 30, the court dismissed the lawsuit.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has affirmed a lower court’s ruling invalidating the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (“PSDA”), the ordinance adopted in 2015 requiring all employers of employees within the Pittsburgh city limits to provide paid sick leave to all full- and part-time employees. The Mayor’s office has confirmed that it will appeal the May 17, 2017, court decision.
On May 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld a 2015 trial court ruling that the City of Pittsburgh did not have the authority under state law to enact the Paid Sick Days Ordinance. It remains to be seen whether the City of Pittsburgh will appeal.