Pennsylvania News & Analysis

  • No-hire provision found unenforceable under Pennsylvania law

    On January 11, 2019, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued a precedential opinion finding a no-hire provision unenforceable. The superior court affirmed an order in which the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County held that a contractual no-hire provision between Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc. (PLS), and BeeMac Trucking, LLC, and BeeMac Logistics, LLC, was an "unfair restriction on trade." The decision marks the first time a Pennsylvania court has ruled on this issue.

  • PECO employee tokes, and his retaliation and discrimination claims go up in smoke

    Pennsylvania employers seem to be "Dazed and Confused" about their right to terminate employees who claim to use marijuana to treat disabilities. And who can blame them? In a relatively short window of time, our state has become home to 27 Phase II Permitted marijuana dispensaries as far northwest as Lake Erie and as far southeast as the Delaware River.

  • PA employers are obligated to protect employees from harassment by nonemployees

    On January 11, 2019, a federal court in Pennsylvania found an employer could be held responsible for a former employee's claim that he was subjected to sexual harassment by a nonemployee.

  • Now's the time to consider marijuana policy

    State laws legalizing the use of marijuana—whether for medical or recreational use—have been a fast-moving target over the last several years. Currently, there are only 16 states in which marijuana is still illegal for both medical and recreational purposes. And out of those 16, most allow products that contain small amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

  • Do you have a ghost of a chance against ghosting?

    If you're like us (and Seth Meyers), you might have a hard time keeping up with all the latest slang terms having to do with new technologies and trends in social interactions and other aspects of modern life. One such term is "ghosting," which is when a person just stops responding to text messages, usually from someone they recently started dating. The term has slowly spread to other situations in which one person suddenly disappears from another person's life, including—you guessed it—when an employee or job applicant is a no-show with no communication or explanation to the employer.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB names new solicitor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December announced the appointment of Fred B. Jacob as its new solicitor. The solicitor is the chief legal adviser and consultant to the Board on all questions of law regarding its general operations and on major questions of law and policy concerning the adjudication of NLRB cases in the courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The solicitor also serves as the Board's legal representative and liaison to the General Counsel and other offices of the agency. Jacob has spent more than two decades practicing labor law and advising federal agencies on ethics, administrative law, and government operations.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds lack of understanding of when workers will retire. U.S. employers are rethinking their approach to managing the retirement patterns of their workforces, according to a study from Willis Towers Watson. The 2018 Longer Working Careers Survey found that 83% of employers have a significant number of employees at or nearing retirement, but just 53% expressed having a good understanding of when their employees will retire. Additionally, while 81% say managing the timing of their employees' retirements is an important business issue, just 25% do that effectively. The survey found that 80% of respondents view older employees as crucial to their success.

  • Employment law trends to recognize as you update policies in 2019

    Although 2018 was a remarkably slow year in terms of changes in federal law, state and city legislators have been hard at work enacting laws and ordinances that will have lasting effects on employers and employees throughout Pennsylvania. Since we're now a full month into 2019, it's as good a time as ever to reevaluate your company's existing policies and ensure you're up to date with the latest changes in the law. This article covers some of the most notable recent trends in Pennsylvania employment law and is offered as a starting point as you update your company's policies.

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Employers must safeguard sensitive employee information

    Pennsylvania's highest court recently issued a major decision that will have an impact on your storage of sensitive employee information in two important ways. First, the court imposed a new duty on employers to use reasonable care in safeguarding employees' sensitive personal information stored on company computers. Second, if an employer breaches that duty and the information is hacked, its employees can recover monetary damages. In other words, you now have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to protect your employees' information from a cyberattack, and if your breach of that duty leads to data being stolen, your company will be liable.

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?