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Employment Disputes Archives

What is the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law?

You may not give much thought to your employees' wages. However, wages can be a source of dispute for your Pennsylvania company. It is important to understand the various wage and hour laws affecting your business, including the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, so you can avoid disputes in this area of your business.

There are many things you are required to do in order for your employee wages to be considered legal. Even after you have established and promised a legal wage, you must follow through and comply with the wages and payment terms you have established.  This is why it is important not to unwittingly establish wages or payment that you did not intend to or do not plan on paying.

The Smart Business Network says that each employee's wages and hours should be recorded, and these wages need to be delivered on designated paydays. You typically have till the next payday to give workers their earnings when they leave your company, and failing to do this may result in a claim against the company. Additionally, workers need to understand their wages and benefits when you hire them.

Although these requirements sound simple, you may unintentionally break them. If a worker quits but owes your company money, you might wrongfully deduct money from the employee's last paycheck. You may also experience disputes if you do not give employees their wages after they leave the company, even if your company is facing financial difficulties. 

There may be stiff consequences for breaking Pennsylvania's wage law. You may be required to pay a portion of your former employee's legal fees and a fine, and in some circumstances you may face imprisonment. Before a claim proceeds to court, you typically receive a notification of your legal error and usually have 10 days to pay your former employee. The amount you owe usually increases if you do not deliver the wages after 30 days.    

The experienced attorneys at Kisner Law Firm can assist owners and management in understanding the multitude of hour and wage laws and develop a plan to help your company stay in compliance.

How do I handle employee conflicts in my business?

As a Pennsylvania employer, planning for what could happen in the future is always a good idea to protect your business. One such plan you need is how to handle employment disputes. Situations can vary, so your approach should be based on the situation at hand. For example, if the conflict is between two employees, it should be handled differently than conflict between you and an employee. In addition, harassment or discrimination issues should be handled differently than other employment disputes.

In most non-discrimination and harassment conflicts, according to the Balance, you should approach employee conflict in a neutral way. You do not want to come across as favoring one person over another. Make it clear you are not going to allow yelling or fighting during the mediation process. You should encourage both people to explain their side of the issue. Encourage them to calmly discuss what happened and what they would like to do to resolve it.

If the matter involves harassment or discrimination you need to follow your handbook guidelines, this includes making reporting and investigation as confidential as possible and ensuring there is no retaliation against a reporting or cooperating employee.  If you don't have a handbook policy you should follow government guidelines and consult an attorney.

A legal representative or someone from human resources should sit in on the meeting. Somone who would best understand the policies and other regulations that may come into play and be able to provide valuable input.

You should never avoid or ignore a conflict in your workplace. It is disruptive to everyone. Even if only two people are actively involved in the situation, others will still take notice and it could affect productivity in the whole company. Always address the situation as soon as you become aware of it. 

The attorneys at Kisner Law Firm can review and revise handbook policies to help prevent employee conflicts, as well as providing advice when such conflicts do arise.

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