Pennsylvania May More Than Double the Salary Threshold to Qualify for Overtime Exemptions

On January 31, 2020, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s (DLI) amendments to 34 Pa. Code Chapter 231, the regulations that exempt executive, administrative, and professional (“white collar”) salaried workers from overtime requirements under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968.

“Ban The Box” Turns 20: Decoding the Current Framework

Twenty years ago, on a warm summer day, Hawaii enacted a restriction on employer inquiries into an applicant’s work history until after a conditional offer of employment. Intended to give applicants with criminal histories a fair shot at employment, the law—the first state “ban the box” law—crystalized a movement that, in time, would yield similar restrictions in 12 states and 17 localities (for private employers). The result is a crisscrossing jumble of requirements with little uniformity, putting employers in a difficult position when dealing with applicants (and sometimes even existing employees) in different jurisdictions.

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.

Reexamining Reasonableness: What Employers Should Know About the Third Circuit’s Take on the Faragher-Ellerth Defense

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, No. 17-2646 (July 3, 2018). The decision, which vacated the entry of summary judgment in favor of an employer that had asserted the Faragher-Ellerth defense to a sexual harassment claim based upon a hostile work environment, provides some important lessons for employers.

Keystone State Targets the Gig Economy: Pennsylvania’s New Nonemployee Withholding and Reporting Requirements

On October 30, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed into law Act 43 of 2017. This new law provides that beginning July 1, 2018, Pennsylvania businesses that pay at least $5,000 in Pennsylvania-source nonemployee compensation or business income to a nonresident individual (or disregarded entity that has a nonresident member) are required to withhold from such payments the current applicable income tax rate (currently 3.07 percent).

Philadelphia’s Pay Equity Ordinance: When May Employers Request and Consider Salary Information in Light of the Latest Challenge?

On April 30, 2018, Judge Goldberg of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an order granting in part and denying in part a motion brought by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia for a preliminary injunction seeking to block the City of Philadelphia’s wage equity ordinance.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Is Asked to Hear Employer Appeal in State Minimum Wage Act Case

On December 22, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled two to one that the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), 43 P.S. Secs. 333.101-333.115, requires payment of a higher rate for each overtime hour worked than does the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) fluctuating workweek (FWW) method. The court held that the PMWA requires one and one half times the regular rate for each overtime hour, instead of the half-time rate allowed under the FWW. Instead of filing a request with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania for reargument en banc, on January 22, 2018, the company filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for allowance of an appeal.

Ninety Seconds Is Not Enough: Third Circuit Rules That Break Policy Violates the FLSA

In Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., No. 16-2685 (October 13, 2017), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an employer’s failure to compensate employees for periods of 20 minutes or less time when they were relieved of all work-related duties violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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.

The FLSA and Your CBA: 3rd Circuit Finds Claims Were Not Subject to Dispute Resolution Provisions

In Jones v. SCO Silver Care Operations LLC, No. 16-1101 (May 18, 2017), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether several certified nursing assistant plaintiffs were entitled to pursue their claims for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in court or were required to submit the claims to an arbitrator in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between their union and their employer.

Philadelphia Pay Equity Ordinance Stayed . . . Temporarily

On April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking to block Philadelphia’s recently-enacted wage equity ordinance. The ordinance, which prohibits employers from inquiring about prospective employees’ wage histories, was set to go into effect on May 23, 2017.

Third Circuit Substitutes “Likely Reason” for “But For” at Summary Judgment Stage of Retaliation Case

In Carvalho-Grevious v. Delaware State University, No. 15-3521 (March 21, 2017), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an important evidentiary question: What evidence must a plaintiff adduce as part of a prima facie case of retaliation to survive a motion for summary judgment? The court held that a plaintiff alleging retaliation has a lesser burden at this stage, namely to produce sufficient evidence to raise the inference that the protected activity was the “likely reason” for the adverse employment decision.

Third Circuit Finds Title IX Provides a Remedy for Sex Discrimination in Fully Funded Educational Institutions

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has again created a circuit split by disagreeing with decisions from the Fifth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, which have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides the exclusive remedy for employees alleging discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational institutions.