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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know >
March 30, 2020
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Andrea M. Kirshenbaum, James R. Malone, Jr., and David E. Renner
On March 18, the U.S. Senate approved, and the president signed, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the act) that was enacted to assist American workers in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The act, which is set to take effect on April 1, provides paid FMLA leave and paid sick leave to employees of certain employers who meet specific criteria.

No Evidence Causes Part-Time Police Officer's Discrimination Claims to Fizzle >
March 11, 2020
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg and Daniel F. Thornton
Without evidence, even the most compelling argument cannot carry the day. This and other themes were recently addressed in Harrell v. Solebury Township where the court granted summary judgment after finding insufficient evidence to infer that the employer's challenged promotion decisions stemmed from unlawful discrimination or retaliation.

Pregnant Employee Surmounts Summary Judgment Based on Supervisor's Comments >
February 12, 2020
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg and Daniel F. Thornton
When a pregnant employee invokes their rights, an employer must be scrupulous in honoring them. This issue was recently addressed in May v. PNC Bank, where the court denied summary judgment based primarily on a supervisor's disparaging comments to a pregnant subordinate.

'Lying is Lying': Dishonesty Dismantles Discrimination Dispute >
January 8, 2020
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg
When an employee's misconduct is related to, or even caused by, her disability, employers are faced with the difficult task of distinguishing between the employee's conduct and her condition. This and other issues were recently addressed in Weikel v. Pyramid Healthcare where the court granted summary judgment based on an employee's failure to show that her employer's well-documented reasons for her firing were a cover for unlawful discrimination.

Management's Failure to Investigate Harassment Entitles Employee to Trial >
December 11, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg
how many discriminatory comments does it take to create a hostile work environment? how should a manager handle vague reports of harassing conduct? These questions and more were recently addressed in Mitchell v. Kensington Community Corp. for Individual Dignity, where the court denied summary judgment to an employer based on management's failure to meaningfully investigate repeated, albeit somewhat vague, reports of harassment.

Maintaining Quality and Preserving Privilege for Telemedicine and Other Outsourced Providers >
December 1, 2019
AHLA Connections
By: Robin Locke Nagele and Elizabeth M. Hein
The use of telemedicine and other contract providers creates challenges in terms of preserving privilege protection for the professional oversight function, particularly given restrictive judicial decisions such as a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision denying privilege protection to a hospital and its contracted emergency medicine provider. This article discusses the current legal environment that presents obstacles to full privilege protection, and outlines and compares a range of practical solutions based on state law peer review privilege and the federal Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA).

Trying a Case Before the Social Media Generation >
November 11, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer's 2019 Personal Injury Supplement
By: Patrick C. Lamb and Amanda R. Hammar
Keeping the attention of jurors during a trial can be challenging. Trial days are long and most jurors are far removed from the days of listening to lengthy class lectures. These inherent difficulties are only magnified by the decreased attention spans caused by constant social media immersion and smartphone participation.

‘Tis the Season for Overtime Regulations for Both the DOL and L&I >
October 29, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Andrea M. Kirshenbaum
On Sept. 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final overtime rule that raises the minimum salary threshold for executive, administrative, and professional employees from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year) to qualify as exempt from overtime pay under the FLSA. The DOL estimates that its final rule, which will become effective Jan. 1, 2020, will extend overtime pay eligibility to 1.3 million workers.

Summary Judgment Granted Despite Employer's Questionable 'Methodology' >
October 8, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg
It is an axiom of employment law that an employer's decision to terminate an employee does not need to be "right," but only needs to be based upon its reasonable and nondiscriminatory belief that the employee's behavior warrants discipline. This was most recently illustrated in the case of Beishl v. County of Bucks, where the court granted summary judgment to the employer while questioning the "methodology" of its analysis.

It Ain't Your Father's Arbitration Act Anymore … or Perhaps It Is >
August 21, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer's Construction Law Supplement
Since 1982, the Pennsylvania Uniform Arbitration Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. Sections 7301-7320 (Subchapter A), Sections 7341- 7342 (Subchapter B) (UAA), has remained unchanged. However, as of July 1, the Pennsylvania Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. Section 7321.1-7321.31 (Subchapter A.1), §§7341-7342 (Subchapter B.1 or Section 2 depending on the version) (RUAA), became effective. While, upon closer examination, the RUAA may not be an Armageddon to the construction industry's traditional notion of “common-law” arbitration, the RUAA does lay a trap for the unwary if common-law arbitration as traditionally perceived is the mechanism desired for dispute resolution.

Third Circuit Provides Practical Guidance on Common Workplace Issues >
August 14, 2019
By: Sidney R. Steinberg
Two recent published decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit provide continued guidance to employers and their counsel on issues that frequently arise in the workplace.

Potential Impact of 'Avandia' on Bad Faith Litigation in Pennsylvania >
August 6, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer's Insurance Law Supplement
By: Bryan M. Shay and Madison G. Melinek
n its recent decision in In re Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit further clarified the standards governing the protection and management of a party's confidential and proprietary information that is filed with the court or offered as evidence at trial. In that case, the Third Circuit concluded that a party seeking to maintain the confidentiality of documents and information that are filed with the court - such as in an exhibit to a motion for summary judgment - or used at trial must demonstrate that the common law right of access and the First Amendment are not offended by maintaining the confidentiality of such documents at that stage in the litigation.

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