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employee rights Archives

Knowing your rights to medical leave

Medical leave is an issue that has seen huge awareness growth recently. As vocal groups push for more universal access to maternity leave, the general consensus that American workers need to be protected has found a growing narrative. As things currently stand, medical leave is a complicated issue, where the law treats varying employers differently and every state has a say. At the very least, there is a national standard, but it has a limited scope. Here are some of the basics you should learn about your rights regarding medical leave.

Philly's Ban the Box ordinance gives new protections to job applicants

Philadelphia's Fair Chance Hiring Law (a.k.a. Ban the Box ordinance) was enacted in 2011 and went into effect March 14, 2016. The recent amendments to Philadelphia's Fair Criminal Records Screening Ordinance are intended to give job applicants the benefit of the doubt when going through the employment screening process.

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.

Whistleblowers have specific rights

According to the Pennsylvania Statutes, a whistleblower is an employee who personally witnesses or has proof that his or her employer is engaged in waste or wrongdoing, and who reports these acts to his or her superior or another appropriate authority. The wrongdoing must involve a violation of existing federal or state statutes, regulations, or codes of conduct that are focused on protecting the interest of the public or employer.

State senator forces vote on minimum wage bill

In Pennsylvania, employers are required to pay their hourly workers at least $7.25 per hour, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. It has been set at this amount, which coincides with the federal minimum wage, since July 2009. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, State Senator Christine Tartaglione is now pushing the senate to vote on a bill that would raise the state’s wages to $10.10 per hour.

Workers' benefits and wage supplements protected by law

In Montgomery, Pennsylvania, benefits and other wage supplements are a protected part of some workers' employment payment packages. The Wage Payment and Collection Law defines wage supplements and benefits as any payments made by the employer for the benefit of the employee, or contractually stipulated payments made directly to the employee in addition to their regular wages. These benefits often include the following:

When can a workers' compensation claim be denied in Pennsylvania?

If you are employed in Montgomery, Pennsylvania, and you sustain an injury or develop an illness due to a situation or condition on the job, workers' compensation benefits may be available to help you with medical bills and lost wages that occur as a result. Benefits are covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance, and cases which are not covered are rare. However, there are some instances where you may receive a denial of benefits.

Employees now have more unionization opportunities

Workers in Pennsylvania who belong to unions typically have higher wages, significantly better benefits and more workplace protections. Those who are not allowed to unionize often suffer from low compensation as a direct result. Now, the National Labor Relations Board is attempting to rectify the situation for employees of franchises and other facilities that are controlled indirectly by a parent company.

Types of defined contribution retirement plans

Retirement is often included in employee benefits in companies in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. While a defined benefit plan is fairly straightforward, promising a certain amount each month after retirement, defined contribution plans may seem more confusing. In this type of plan, the employer and employee each contribute to the individual account, and that amount is typically a percentage of the employee’s pre-taxed earnings. These may be matched by the employer, depending on the type of plan. This money is then invested, and the success of the investments determines the size of the retirement benefits.

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