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Employee Rights Archives

Pittsburgh Passes Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Pittsburgh United, an organization that strives to advance social and economic justice in the City of Pittsburgh by fighting for family-sustaining jobs and equitable economic development, convened a coalition of over 25 labor unions, faith, environment, women's and community organizations to work together to pass the Ordinance.

Unusual retaliation claim filed against Pittsburgh area casino

Employees should never have to fear that they will be retaliated against for complaining about unsafe or illegal working conditions. When people are being subjected to discrimination, harassment or safety hazards in the workplace, it is important that they are able to speak up to protect their rights without the fear of being fired or blacklisted in their industry.

Wage theft, other labor abuses alleged in 7-Eleven case

A wide range of labor abuses are being alleged against several 7-Eleven franchise owners this week after federal authorities conducted a raid on stores and homes. In what was described as a "modern-day plantation" system, the franchise owners allegedly coerced undocumented immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines to work in their stores for far less than minimum wage for up to 100 hours each week before taking them back to "company owned" housing. 

Supreme Court rulings limit workers' rights

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings this week that have the potential to limit the rights of workers here in Pennsylvania. The two controversial decisions will make it much more difficult for people to hold their employers responsible for discrimination and retaliation.

School layoffs cause concern for Pennsylvania employees

Many Pennsylvania readers already know about the difficult budget situation facing many of our nation's school districts. Particularly in larger cities, school districts are being forced to make tough choices in the face of budget contraints, which means cutting arts and sports funding and limiting staff. 

Supreme Court to hear overtime cheating case

Workers at one of the nation's largest steel companies say that their employer is cheating them out of up to five hours of overtime each week. The workers say that the time it takes to put on the appropriate safety gear and travel from the locker rooms to the worksite on the company's broad campus should be considered work and should be paid. The steel company has heard complaints like this before and settled a similar case with workers from another location, but says in this situation that the workers are not entitled to be paid for putting on their gear.

NFL questioned on sexual orientation discrimination

A state attorney general sent a strongly worded letter to the Commissioner of the National Football League, asking for answers and reassurance after allegations surfaced that the league's recruiters were discrimination against players who may be gay.

Is your work email private?

A lot of Pennsylvania readers are unclear about the rules that apply to their work computers or work issued cellphones. Many people use their work computers for personal purposes as well, and those with employer-issued smartphones often comingle information about work with their personal correspondence, but few are aware of the legal status of that data, which could end up making a big difference in the event of a conflict with an employer.

Pittsburgh restaurant ordered to pay back tips to servers

A Pittsburgh restaurant was ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division to repay servers more than $37,000 to compensate them for tips that had been diverted and paid to dishwashers. The restaurant owner had been requiring servers to contribute a small portion of their tips to additional pay for the dishwashers who do not receive their own gratuities.