Momentum Magazine May 2018 Edition - Page 11

Advetorial Keeping An Eye On Pennsylvania Employment Laws By Joseph Sileo, Esq. — McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC The workplace and employer-employee relationship are highly regulated and fraught with landmines that if not avoided can result in significant potential liability. Maintaining legal compliance in connection with employment law obligations can be challenging for any employer, particularly considering the complex web of applicable laws and regulations. To be effective and minimize the risk of liability, employers, human resource professionals and lawyers who advise employers must be well informed of and stay current with applicable laws. Many federal employment laws are well known to both employers and employees, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, Pennsylvania also has various state-specific employment laws, as do all other states. Pennsylvania employers must comply with both federal and applicable Pennsylvania state laws. Likewise, employers with operations/facilities in multiple states must comply with federal and all applicable various state laws. In light of overlapping federal and state regulations, it would be unwise for an employer to overlook state law and focus exclusively or primarily on federal employment law compliance. One reason for this is that state law may impose more significant or different compliance obligations as compared to federal law. Accordingly, ignoring or insufficient knowledge of Pennsylvania employment laws can result in significant unanticipated liability for the uninformed employer. This is sometimes referred to this as the “State Law Trap.” To avoid the State Law Trap, all Pennsylvania employers, HR professionals and employment attorneys should have a good working knowledge of Pennsylvania specific employment laws. Examples include, among others, Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), the Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL), Inspection of Employment Records Law, and Criminal Records History Information Act. Business Breakfast Briefing • 11