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'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
By: Kenneth W. Lee
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.

New EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Requirements: What Employers Need to Know >
July 29, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Andrea M. Kirshenbaum and David E. Renner
As many employers may know, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), following the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's March 4, decision in National Women's Law Center v. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has announced that covered employers must submit employees' W-2 pay and hours worked data (which the EEOC has referred to as a Component 2 EEO-1) for years 2017 and 2018 by Sept. 30. Employers that are required to submit Component 2 data should be actively working toward meeting this impending deadline.

Employer Not Required to Provide ADA Accommodation of Choice to Employee >
July 10, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
By: Sidney R. Steinberg
While the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that an employer provide a disabled employee a “reasonable accommodation,” it is important to keep in mind that an accommodation need only be “reasonable” and need not be the one preferred by the employee in question. This is the principal message of the recent decision in Keyhani v. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent NLRB Decision Reminds Employers of the Need for Consistency >
June 12, 2019
The Legal Intelligencer
Employers must be both credible and consistent in their explanation for employment decisions. One without the other is helpful, but both are necessary for an employer to prevail. While we see this issue raised most often in the context of summary judgment or trial decisions in court, a recent decision of the National Labor Relations Board reinforces the point.

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