Archives: Pennsylvania Public Sector

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Pennsylvania Requires Government Contractors to Use E-Verify

On June 30, 2012, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed into law Senate Bill 637 which will require public works contractors and subcontractors subject to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act (essentially, construction projects where the estimated cost is at least $25,000)  to use  E-Verify to confirm that their employees are legally permitted to work in the United States.  Violators of the new law are subject to progressive penalties including … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Municipal Civil Service Codes Amended for Hiring and Promotion Criteria

The General Assembly has passed three bills amending the civil service provisions of the First Class Township Code, Borough Code and Third Class City Code. Gov. Tom Corbett has signed into law the amendments to the First Class Township and Third Class City Codes, and is expected to sign the amendment to the Borough Code. Generally, these … Continue Reading

Certain Cancers Sustained by Firefighters now Covered Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

This post was also written by Bailey E. Axe and Joseph C. Rudolf. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed House Bill No. 797 into law Thursday, July 7, amending the Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”) to include coverage to firefighters suffering from a cancer caused by exposure to certain known carcinogens. Notably, these new provisions allow firefighters … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Joins the Movement To Ban Inquiries into Arrests and Convictions on Employment Applications

This post was written by Don A. Innamorato and Meghan O. Offer. On April 13, 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a new city ordinance that bans Philadelphia employers from asking applicants about their convictions during the initial phases of the hiring process and precludes them from ever asking about arrests which failed to result in a conviction. Due … Continue Reading

Best-Practices Standards Imposed on Pennsylvania Municipal Pension Systems

Tucked away in Act 44 of 2009, landmark legislation intended to relieve the significant financial strain on municipalities throughout Pennsylvania, in particular Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the General Assembly imposed a set of best-practices standards on every municipal pension plan in the Commonwealth. Act 44 contains sweeping changes for the use of professionals by municipal pension systems … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Proposes Policy Guidance That Would Presume Employers Engage in Disparate Impact Discrimination When They Use Criminal History Information

This post was also written by Miriam S. Edelstein. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”) has proposed “Policy Guidance” stating that it intends to treat an employer’s rejection of an African-American or Hispanic applicant because of his or her criminal record as presumptive evidence that the employer is discriminating against the applicant in violation of the … Continue Reading

In Passing Act 51, the Commonwealth Assumes the Financial Burden of the Act 600 Killed-in-Service Benefit

Introduction On October 9, 2009, Gov. Rendell signed into law Act 51 of 2009 (“Act 51”), which removed the 100 percent Killed-in-Service benefit from Act 600 and created a similar but not identical benefit under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act (“Death Benefits Act”), 53 P.S. § 891 et seq. While the Death … Continue Reading

State Aid Available for DROP Participants Who are Actively Employed

This post was also written by Scott E. Blissman. The Supreme Court has recently declined to review the Commonwealth Court’s 2008 holding that a municipality properly included officers that had entered into a deferred retirement plan in the municipality’s calculation for state pension aid. In a time when municipal pension funds have been devastated by market … Continue Reading

For Civil Service Promotions, Municipality Must Select the Top-Scoring Applicant

This post was also written by Scott E. Blissman. The Supreme Court has declined to review the Commonwealth Court’s 2008 holding that a Borough was statutorily required to promote the top-scoring candidate on its eligibility list. Accordingly, the Court found that the Borough erred when it promoted a lower-scoring candidate, who was in the top three … Continue Reading

Employers Must Bargain with Unions Before Banning Smoking Outdoors

This post was also written by Scott E. Blissman. In a recent decision by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (“Board”), the Board found that a public employer committed an unfair labor practice by prohibiting its unionized employees from smoking in outdoor work spaces. This case represents the Board’s attempt to balance its longstanding case law requiring employers … Continue Reading

Police Department Not Required to Accommodate Officer’s Request to Wear Religious Dress with Uniform

This post was also written by Scott E. Blissman and Daniel J. Moore. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Philadelphia Police Department did not violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when it denied an officer’s request to wear a headscarf, a head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women, … Continue Reading
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