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January 2016 Archives

What is a severance agreement?

If you are laid off or terminated by your employer, it may offer you a severance package in order to avoid the possibility of being sued for wrongful termination. These agreements are most commonly used when an employee is a protected individual or when the risk of litigation is great enough that the expense of the agreement is worth it.

Basics of overtime law

Prior to accepting a position with a new employer, potential employees are able to negotiate certain elements of their employment contracts to receive the most favorable terms. One of the main issues in these contracts is often centered on how overtime is calculated and when an employee is even eligible for the extra pay. Before signing anything, employees should first learn what Pennsylvania and federal laws allow in regards to their individual situations and overtime pay.

Hostile work environments and sexual harassment

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, while sexual harassment rates are declining, the issue continues to affect thousands of workers in the nation each year. Increased education on what constitutes sexual harassment may be the key to preventing these occurrences in the future. Our team at The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC often explains to clients that harassment comes in two forms, each of which can be equally damaging to victims.

Pay cannot be based on employee gender

According to Pew Research Center, women only earn 84 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn in the same occupations every year. This means that women must work, on average, an extra 40 days each year to equal the earning capacity of males in the same field. While this gender pay gap is steadily decreasing from where it was many years ago, the gap still exists despite efforts to ensure that women and men are treated equally in the workplace. To ensure women are given the same rights as their male coworkers, Pennsylvania passed laws that make it illegal for employers to pay their female employees any differently than their male counterparts.

Can my employer deny breaks?

While it may seem like a draconian practice, your employer is legally allowed to deny your ability to take breaks in almost every workplace and circumstance. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, you are only guaranteed a rest period during the workday if you work on a farm, or if you are under the age of 18. However, many laws prohibit employers from taking advantage of you when breaks are in question.

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