Employment & Labor Law Blog

Claims brought against by employers by employees represent a large part of the cases filling our court’s dockets. We focus on assisting our clients to be positioned to avoid claims, and if the claims are brought, to be prepared to defend against them.

U.S. Supreme Court Expands LGBTQ Rights

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision expanding protections for gay and transgender individuals in a group of three cases under the...
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Allegheny County Employers Mandated to Pay Sick Leave to Employees

Businesses and employees continue to deal with the ever-changing employment landscape arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, the changes are occurring on a local level. On March...
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American Rescue Act Extends Key FFCRA and CARES Act Provisions through September 30, 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Rescue Act”). While most news reports regarding the Rescue Act focus on the stimulus...
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Pennsylvania High Court Takes Up Enforceability of Restrictive Covenant In Non-Compete Agreement

In Sucko the plantiff sued his employer, Mid-Atlantic, after it threatened litigation to enforce a non-compete agreement Socko executed during his tenure with Mid-Atlantic. While employed as an...
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Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds That Insurer Cannot Enforce Subrogation Rights in Independent Suit Against Third Party in Workers Compensation Claim

In Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., v. Domtar Paper Co., No. 1052 WDA 2012, 2013 PA Super 262 (September 27, 2013), the Pennsylvania Superior Court examined the issue of...
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Toolkit for Dealing with Opioid Abuse in the Workplace Released by National Safety Council

The impact of the opioid crisis in the workplace is significant; an estimated seventy five percent of employers report having had to address an opioid-related issue at work....
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President of Contracting Company Has No Individual Liability Under CASPA

The Superior Court recently affirmed a trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of an individual president/owner of a company, finding that an individual officer has no...
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Employees of Gentleman’s Club Stripped of Coverage For Lawsuits Stemming From Altercation Outside of Club

In Navigators Ins. Co. v. Oasis on Essington Ltd., No. 11-7074, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104461 (E.D. Pa. July 31, 2014) (Jones, II, J.), the U.S. District Court...
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PA Superior Court Holds Service on Franchisee’s Employee Ineffective to Complete Service on Franchisor

In Trexler vs. McDonalds Corp. (June 3, 2015), the Pennsylvania Superior Court was asked to decide whether a corporate franchisor was properly served with original process where the...
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DOL Salary Increase Requirement Put on Hold

The U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule increasing the minimum salary for overtime exempt employees that was scheduled to go into effect December 1, 2016 has been put...
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When it Comes to Retaliation, Timing Isn’t Everything – Third Circuit Reinforces that Temporal Proximity Must be Considered with Other Evidence of Causation

In the employment discrimination context, retaliation claims can be a huge issue (and headache) for employers. In fact, retaliation claims were the most frequently filed charge with the...
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Rescinds Marijuana Enforcement Guidance

In early January 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the long-standing Obama-era guidance regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) treatment of the marijuana industry. In a series...
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Federal Court: Marijuana Industry Workers Not Categorically Excluded from Federal Overtime Requirements

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has held that workers in the marijuana industry are not automatically excluded from coverage under the federal Fair...
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Coronavirus Leave Pay Resulting From Governors Orders & Federal Coronavirus Relief Act

I predict that the stay at home orders issued by numerous state Governors, including Ohio, Pennsylvania (limited to seven counties including Allegheny), and West Virginia, in combination with...
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CDC Coronavirus Workplace Update & Potential Legislative Action

The CDC recently issued coronavirus guidance for office building workplaces. In short summary, it continues and updates CDC employer guidance, calling for wearing masks in all areas, maintaining...
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Do Owners Count As Employees? SBA Issues Additional Guidance on Definition of “Owner-Employees” For PPP Borrowers

On Monday (August 24) the SBA issued another Interim Final Rule (the “8/24 Rule”) under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  This Rule in part provides further insights on...
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Are Non-Competes Enforceable in PA Independent Contractor Agreements?

Short Answer: Yes, but as with all non-compete provisions, proceed with caution and draft wisely. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail...
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When it Comes to Retaliation, Timing Isn’t Everything – Third Circuit Reinforces that Temporal Proximity Must be Considered with Other Evidence of Causation

In the employment discrimination context, retaliation claims can be a huge issue (and headache) for employers. In fact, retaliation claims were the most frequently filed charge with the...
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Pennsylvania Federal Court Recognizes “Constructive Demotion” as a Type of Adverse Employment Action

In the employment law context, you’ve probably heard of constructive discharge as a type of adverse employment action. A constructive discharge occurs when an employer’s actions make an...
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FMLA Housekeeping

FMLA Housekeeping The start of the 2008 is a good time to clean up lax practices and plan for likely changes under the Family & Medical Leave Act...
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Is Your Employee Handbook Leaving You Exposed?

Is Your Employee Handbook Leaving You Exposed? All employers, large and small, should have employee handbooks. However, simply having an employee handbook is not enough. Employers should also...
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Employer Alert: OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued its highly anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) regarding COVID-19 vaccine requirements for certain larger employers. The ETS took effect Friday,...
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Does Your Business Contract With the Federal Government? Here’s What You Need to Know About New COVID Vaccine Rules

Last week, the federal government issued new COVID vaccine rules that will apply to many federal contractors and subcontractors.  These are the highlights: Q: Will the new rules...
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No-Hire Provision Unenforceable in Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc. v. Beemac Trucking LLC

For the first time in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court recently took on the issue of whether a no-hire provision (i.e., no-poaching) in a services contract is enforceable under...
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EEOC Updates Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Incentives

On May 28, 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) revised its guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace in an attempt to answer questions from employers about...
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Employer Option for Extended Government Reimbursement of COVID-19 Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

Last week’s federal stimulus legislation contains a little noted option for employers to continue to receive full government reimbursement for qualifying COVID-19 sick pay to employees through the...
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Employment Law Update: New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Requirements for Pittsburgh Employers

On December 9, 2020, Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto, signed the Temporary COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which takes effect immediately. The Ordinance provides additional paid...
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OSHA & COVID-19: Does An Employee’s Positive Test For COVID-19 Trigger OSHA’s Illness Reporting Requirement?

OSHA has generally taken a backseat on COVID-19, leaving it to the CDC and state governments to give directions to employers. However, recent OSHA COVID-19 guidance puts employers...
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Coronavirus Workplace Infection Control Policy

The Pennsylvania Governor added new information on Friday (May 8, 2020) to the phased resumption or continuation of business and organization activities. This includes mandated steps that employers...
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What Businesses And Non-Profits Need To Know About The CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”) was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. The Act provides relief...
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Update on How to Apply the Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

Here are some important updates on handling the paid sick pay due under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) that was passed into law on March 18,...
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Employer Awareness of Implicit Gender Bias in the Workplace

The topic of sex discrimination in the workplace has been heavily researched, discussed, and frequently litigated, particularly in the era of the #metoo movement. Today, employers are more...
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Uncharted Territory of Medical Marijuana and Employment Law in Pennsylvania Demonstrated by Police Officer’s Administrative Leave

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that the city confirmed a Pittsburgh police officer with a medical marijuana card was placed on administrative leave after testing positive for marijuana....
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Are You Prepared for a Religious Accommodation Request? Third Circuit Finds Employer’s Approach Proper

Handling requests for religious accommodations by employees can pose challenges for employers. A recent opinion by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit provides a...
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West Virginia Case Reinforces that an Employee's General Managerial Skills are Not a Protectable Interest Sufficient to Justify a Restrictive Covenant

In West Virginia, an inherently reasonable restrictive covenant is presumptively enforceable if the employer can show that it has interests requiring protection from the employee. In other words,...
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Are Your Employment Policies Ambiguous? Third Circuit Case is a Reminder of the Value of Clear Wording

Are Your Employment Policies Ambiguous? Third Circuit Case is a Reminder of the Value of Clear Wording
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About Us

Claims brought against employers by employees represent a large part of the cases filling our court’s dockets. As a result, the attorneys at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., focus on assisting our clients to be positioned to avoid claims, and if the claims are brought, to be prepared to defend against them.

Craig Brooks attorney headshot

Craig M. Brooks

An employment and labor attorney, Craig primarily represents management, providing advice on how to handle employee issues and actions, as well as defending or pursuing claims in court and before government agencies on matters.