Articles Posted in Pennsylvania

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When defending against a woman’s sexual harassment claim, I’ve found that “she was asking for it” is generally a bad defense. So bad, in fact, that you may just want to whip out the old checkbook instead.

Another crappy one, apparently, is trying to convince a judge that an industrial workplace setting is carte blanche to knuckle drag and generally act like pigs.

Also known as the “blue collar” defense.

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In 2001, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided Bibby v. Philadelphia Coca Cola Bottling Co. In Bibby, the Third Circuit could not have been clearer about whether federal anti-discrimination law made LGBT bias at work unlawful.

“Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would have extended Title VII to cover sexual orientation.”

That’s binding precedent on all lower federal courts in Pennsylvania.

Except, on Friday, Judge Cathy Bissoon from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania concluded EEOC v. Scott Medical (opinion here) that Bibby is questionable, outdated jurisprudence.

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A few weeks ago, I blogged here about a federal agency — one that rhymes with EEOB — reaching a 7-figure settlement with its workers of alleged Fair Labor Standards Act overtime violations involving comp time.

Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion, in which it addressed another tricky situation involving overtime offsets.

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Many times — most recently last Friday — I’ve discussed instances in which the 24/7 world of social media has cost individuals their jobs.

But, here’s a little twist. Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania federal court ruled here that a plaintiff’s Facebook page called “Yo know yo ass is from the da hood,” could be used by a defendant-employer to impeach an African-American employee’s claims of race discrimination and retaliation at work.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania is about to become the second Commonwealth in the United States to legalize medical marijuana. (23 states — la di da, states — plus DC currently allow it)

Does this mean that employees with migraines can puff vape pens and eat Cheetos in your break rooms at work? Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

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Remember last month when I told you to short crude oil futures and bet the Broncos to win the Super Bowl about how the National Labor Relations Board concluded that an employer could not maintain a workplace rule that banned employees from recording workplace conversations, absent prior company approval. (More on that here).

Well, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, before you get any bright ideas about secretly recording your boss, you’d better think twice.

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