Answers Posted By Harold Goldner

Answer to My son has been accused at work for sexually harrassing a coworker. He has not done this. He is in a relationship with his girlfriend+they are happy. My son is very upset. He's not shared this with anyone. His employer will not allow him back to work or o

Unless he is in a union, your son is an employee at will who can be fired at any time for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason whatsoever. If it's a legitimate claim of harassment, he can expect to be disciplined or undergo training at best and fired at worst. If it isn't and they do a decent investigation, he should be cleared.

Sexual harassment is not about sex. Sexual harassment has nothing to do with whether the alleged harasser is in a happy relationship or not; it's about power, and the harasser frequently is blissfully unaware of the effect of his (or her) actions constituting harassment.

While your son (not you) might do well to discuss the matter with an attorney, it's probably too early for one to offer any assistance at this point.

posted Mar 6, 2018 08:18 AM [EST]

Answer to Is a lump sum settlement for age discrimination taxable. I did get a 1099 for it.

Yes, of course it's taxable. It's payment for wages which you were not paid because of alleged unlawful discrimination. Often these settlements are paid partially on a W-2 and partially on a 1099 to make more up-front cash available to the Plaintiff who is out of work. However, the fact that it is categorized as "other income" on a 1099 does not change its taxable status. Your attorney, if you had one, should have explained this to you at the time you settled your case.

posted Feb 2, 2018 08:48 AM [EST]

Answer to when I apply for unemployment and I've worked for the same place for 1 1/2 yrs but it was sold part way through my employment, how do I enter that in my UI claim forms?

The ownership of the company shouldn't be your concern. You were with the same employer for that continuous period. Since qualification involves the 5 quarters before the present quarter, that goes back to the prior owner. Use the name of the place you work and let the bureau sort things out. They will have tax id's and account numbers to match up to your employment records.

posted Dec 28, 2017 09:19 AM [EST]

Answer to An employee is off due to a balance/vertigo type condition that makes him unable to drive or ride in a vehicle. He is an outside salesman and does not want to apply for FMLA but rather work from home. Short term, let's say a week I could agree, but this i

You are confusing FMLA and the ADA (but don't worry; the intersection of these two has been dogging employment practitioners and HR managers for years).

An individual is typically eligible for FMLA when due to a serious health condition, they are incapable of performing the essential functions of their job. No "accommodation" will enable them to function productively. If he can perform some, or a substantial portion of his job, just not do the driving part, then he's not FMLA eligible.

If, on the other hand, he is seeking an "accommodation" so that he can continue to do his job, albeit a week long no-driving modification, that means he's not taking FMLA, he's being 'accommodated' under the ADA, in which case he continues to work his full day/week, etc.

If he's already overtime exempt, that is, he earns a salary or a base plus commissions over ~$24,000/year, then you don't dock his pay, not for ADA. If he's taking FMLA, then that's in accordance with your company's policies. FMLA does not have to be paid, and policies can require employees (exempt and non-exempt) to use up accrued PTO, if any. You don't get to convert a salaried employee into an hourly employee and then dock pay.

I suggest that if your company has HR issues instead of trying to resolve them with questions online, you contact a reliable employment lawyer who handles employer-side issues such as this.

posted Sep 15, 2017 09:39 AM [EST]

Answer to A coworker cussed me again this is the second time this happened. And I'm done with this my boss covered for the one who cussed me he is the macanic is there anything I can do

If you are not being singled out due to your race, religion, color, sex, age (over 40) or actual or perceived mental or physical disability, you aren't being "discriminated against" in violation of any PA statute.

I can also caution you that when coworkers don't get along, one or both get fired, and courts don't get involved in "refereeing" which one was right and which one wasn't. This isn't elementary school.

If the conduct is inappropriate, report it to HR, but otherwise move on (or look for employment elsewhere).

posted May 25, 2017 3:23 PM [EST]

Answer to I reported my manager for a negative extreme change in his behavior and memory loss that resulted in major information technology risks. I was fired 8 hours after reporting him. Do I a right to sue for wrongful discharge?

There is an age-old expression, "When you shoot at the King, you better not miss." Pennsylvania is an at-will state in which you can be fired at any time for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. Your boss could walk in on a random Wednesday and tell you "we've decided someone has to be fired today, and it's you" and there's not a thing you can do about it.

You *cannot* be terminated in violation of a "public policy," which PA courts have interpreted generally to mean "legislative enactment." As a result, you can't be fired usually because of your sex, race, age (over 40), religion, national origin, or perceived, actual or record of disability.

In the case you set up, you "reported" your boss to his boss. Legally, nothing wrong with that. Politically, that was perhaps a little less savvy. Generally "going out of bounds" is often why someone loses a job. It's not fair. It's not right, but it's not illegal.

posted Mar 17, 2017 1:13 PM [EST]

Answer to Sons hours cut in half employer told him if you go to unemployment you will be fired

Where the terms of employment are substantially changed (such as slashing hours by a third), the employee may have necessitous and compelling reasons for quitting the job (for example, to search for full time employment elsewhere). As such, the employee is eligible for Unemployment Compensation.

Terminating an employee for filing for unemployment compensation violates public policy, and therefore can serve as grounds for a wrongful termination claim.

Your son (not you) should contact an employment attorney to determine what, if anything, can be done to remedy his situation.

posted Jan 4, 2017 12:54 PM [EST]

Answer to does a general release need to be witnessed or notarized/ we are in Pennsylvania

No. It does not. You should make sure, however that your "general release" complies with all provisions, if appropriate, of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Don't just take a general release out of a form book and use it. Missing language under some circumstances can void the release. I always urge my clients to run documents past me *before* they use them.

posted Dec 29, 2016 1:00 PM [EST]

Answer to After giving notice of two weeks and the employer terminates me immediately can he demand I bring back a company tablet within the next two days personally to an office I am not near (Im a homecare RN) . Just wonderimg what the timeframe is forreturning e

Not necessarily, but why wouldn't you? You're an employee at will; an employer is within its rights to terminate you immediately once you give notice. If you're not working the next 48 hours, what impediment precludes your returning their property? I can't imagine the cost of an employment lawyer justifying hanging on to the device, can you?

posted Dec 13, 2016 08:57 AM [EST]

Answer to was terminated from a company that I was with for 13 years. Was providing me a severance pay for 13 weeks. However there was a non-compete for 2 years could not work for another company in the same industry. Never worked for another company in same indust

You should contact an employment lawyer and sit down with that lawyer *in person* with any employment agreements and any correspondence you've received from your former employer *in hand* and that attorney can advise you what the best course of conduct is. Non-compete provisions can be enforced, even when in severance agreements, but the non-payment of the amount of the severance package may also work to invalidate the agreement. As with many things legal, the answer is "it depends," and you should not rely upon (nor expect) legal advice over the internet.

posted Mar 21, 2016 11:45 AM [EST]

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