Office address

623 North Broad Street

Lansdale, PA 19446

Phone: 215-896-3846

Fax: 267-653-1405

Email: help@rckelly.com

Contact Us

* - required field

Submit
Blogs
 
And Another Thing...
22
It is important to have company policies, update them frequently and train your staff on them. However, it is equally important to make sure you are enforcing these policies equally among employees.

+ Read More   + Email Us

15
On September 7, 2015 President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. This order grants employees of federal contractors at least one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked up to seven paid sick days a year. Individual contractors can also opt to offer more paid sick leave. This order would affect 300,000 Americans who are not currently eligible for any paid sick leave and also takes into effect absences as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

+ Read More   + Email Us

17
On July 6th, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would change, among other things, the salary exemption limit for overtime. The current rule (put in place in 2004) states exempts employees with salaries of at least $455 a week ($23,660 a year) and who perform executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer duties can be exempted from overtime regulations.  The proposed rule would raise the salary exemption level to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. The new threshold would be nearl...

+ Read More   + Email Us

27
I have a question regarding insurance liability for students on our school buses. Some believe that any medical care resulting from an injury on the bus should be processed through the auto insurance of the student’s family. Is there any truth to this, and if so, can you provide the reference?

+ Read More   + Email Us

19
My employee bought a new gun and brought it onto company property to show the other gun fans in the building.  If someone has a permit to carry a gun, can I tell them they can’t have it in their car on company property?    Answer: Yes, you can forbid firearms on company property. Even if they have a permit to carry, you have the right to dictate what happens on your private company property.  Make sure you have a clear and detailed “Workplace Security” or “Violence in the Workplace” policy in your handbook that outlines your expectations. &n...

+ Read More   + Email Us

04
Is your company looking to hire new employees? Do you know which questions you can legally ask them and which questions you cannot? RC Kelly Law Associates breaks down those tricky “Fitness for Duty” questions and how you can legally find out if they are right for the position.

+ Read More   + Email Us

22

Question: Are churches exempt from Employment Laws? Yes…and No 

Scenario: A teacher at a religious school develops a disability.  After some time on disability leave, the teacher advises the principal of her intention to return to work.  The school instead, determines the teacher’s resignation is in the best interest of the school and students.  Does this violate Employment laws such as Americans with Disabilities Act?  

+ Read More   + Email Us

22
You have an employee who has been terminated for unexcused absences, performance issues, or another valid reason. Do you need to supply that employee with a termination letter? Technically, no – but best human resources practices says yes!

+ Read More   + Email Us

20

Worried you’re putting the wrong worker to work? Certain tasks should only be assigned to those who can fulfil them. Brush up on your knowledge of employment laws and learn the importance of a clearly written “Fitness for Duty” policy at your company in this article. Be sure your employees are not only qualified, but physically and mentally capable of completing their expected tasks.

+ Read More   + Email Us

10
On March 17th Richard Kelly, Esq. joined members of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) as Governor Tom Corbett signed Senate Bill 57 (Act 9) amending Pennsylvania’s wiretap law to permit audio taping on a school bus. SB 57/Act 9 will remove the risks of lawsuits previously faced by contractors regarding audio taping that was often required, formally or informally, by the schools they served.  Allowing audio recordings inside school buses will provide contractors and schools with a valuable tool for managing events that occur on the bus and will help create a safer scho...

+ Read More   + Email Us

12
With the approach of yet another winter storm for our area, clients are concerned for their safety, along with their responsibility when it comes to removing ice and snow buildup on the tops of vehicles. The PA statue is 75 P.S. 3270 and it states that:  “When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.” Note that the ...

+ Read More   + Email Us

14

Question: I have an employee who is out on Worker’s Comp for a back injury.  He is not able to lift, bend, kneel or pull anything.  My company celebrates Employee Appreciation Night every year around this time.  Should an employee out on worker’s comp be allowed to attend this celebration when the doctor has them on restrictions?

Great Question!  There are many rules and regulations that come along with worker’s compensation.  While many of these regulations are clearly written out, there are many gray areas that arise while dealing with employees who are on are receiving worker’s compensation.

+ Read More   + Email Us

23
Question: I have seen several articles that state that as an employer, I am required to notify employees, regardless of company size, about the affordable care act or face penalties of $100. What exactly are we supposed to tell them? Great Question – and you are right. On May 8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Technical Release No. 2013-02, announcing an updated model election notice that plans must provide to inform departing employees about continued health care coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The release also announced ...

+ Read More   + Email Us

07
My staff comes in early, without being asked, and starts their work.  They do not expect to get paid for this but want to start work early in order to catch up or get a jump on their day, some come in 30 minutes early…should this be allowed? Great Question, and good job recognizing this issue may get the employer into hot water. Under FLSA and PA Minimum Wage Law employees must be paid for all time worked in a work day. A "Workday", means the period between the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her "principal activity" and the time on that day at which ...

+ Read More   + Email Us

19
Your employee has been chosen for jury duty and will be unable to come in to work for an unknown amount of time, do you need to pay them?  The simple answer is yes if they are exempt employees, but If they are hourly employees the answer is no.  Do you have a policy explaining this scenario at your company?  If not, here is some background information for you to consider. Employers’ Obligations: Federal law does not require employers to pay their non-exempt employees’ wages for jury duty. PA Law does not require the employer to compensate the employee for employ...

+ Read More   + Email Us

26
As the summer approached you may be asked to accept a student as volunteer to help with the senior project, or someone interesting in building their resume over their summer break from college, or an unemployed person looking to stay current in their field.  While your first instinct is to jump at the chance to help, and get a few extra things done, be sure you have considered and prepared for the volunteer, especially if this is outside your normal practice. For those of you who regularly engage volunteers, this may be a good time to double check you practices and review your paperwork.&...

+ Read More   + Email Us

29
Your employee was arrested and detained, now what?    Hopefully, you will never receive a call from an employee (or their family) letting you know they won’t be able to come to work because they are in jail.  But since you never know what Monday morning will bring…  consider Adopting an Employee Incarceration Policy. Here are some basics and options to consider: Choose a general policy you will consistently follow – remember inconsistency is the basis for many claims; even if you did not make a decision based on protected class,  if you treate...

+ Read More   + Email Us

01
The recent publishing of the Omnibus Final Rule by the Department of Health and Human Services serves as a timely reminder to review how the HIPAA rules apply to every business not just those in the healthcare industry.  It is important to insure your staff and your operations are compliant with the security of protected health information in your possession.  Here are some helpful tips: Securing Medical Records Records containing information about employees' health need to be secured not only from access outside of the company, but also from unauthorized users inside the compa...

+ Read More   + Email Us

09
While our legal practice has not encountered random audits as it relates to federal regulatory compliance, in regards to the recordkeeping requirements; audits have been completed in conjunction with claim driven visits.  Reviews of practices and compliance are often completed by the EEOC agent as part of the claim investigation.   Common sense would conclude that reviews would be more favorable if organizations are consistently compliant with recordkeeping/reporting/posting requirements and of course non-discriminatory practices.   We understand often times, state and...

+ Read More   + Email Us

31
Question: If an employee has been given copies of reviews, discipline reports and/or termination letter during the course of employment, and then the employee is fired, is the employer obligated to give additional copies when requested by the employee? This question was posed during one of our recent HR education sessions.  It is a great stand-alone question but also brings to our attention the importance of proper documentation and personnel recordkeeping practices. So we will answer the question directly here, and if you are interested in more in depth info about the importance of pro...

+ Read More   + Email Us

30
Another great question that we have received several times here at the office…so here are the basics rules regarding breaks in Pennsylvania: For adult employees working in non-farming jobs, the employer is not required to give an employee over age 18 a break period. However, an employer can elect to give breaks. Breaks that are 20 minutes or less are considered compensable time, the employee must be paid for that time, regardless of work activity or lack of work activity during the break. If the break is longer than 20 minutes, and the employee has been completely relieved fro...

+ Read More   + Email Us

22
This question has come up several times this summer.  Under the UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ACT OF 1994, employers cannot force a reservist to use their vacation time during their annual two-week drill or any other service time.  However, the reservist must be permitted to use accrued vacation time if he/she so chooses.  Under the federal USERRA statute § 1002.153   (a) If employment is interrupted by a period of service, the employee must be permitted upon request to use any accrued vacation, annual, or similar leave with pay during th...

+ Read More   + Email Us

07
We recently had a client ask the question about how to document and handle instances of employee absences. In this time of varying work volume and increased employer responsibility in complying with employment law statutes the following is offered for your consideration.  As there are multiple “ripple effects” to employee absence events, such as unemployment compensation claim, potential Family Medical Leave Act or ADA compliance issues, good documentation becomes extremely important.  It is recommended that each occurrence that deviates from the pre-assigned work schedul...

+ Read More   + Email Us

06
When employees ask for leave, especially for unforeseen circumstances, they don't need to assert their FMLA rights by stating, "I need FMLA leave." In fact, they don't even need to mention FMLA. While employees must provide a general explanation of their reason for leave, it's the employer’s responsibility to identify leave requests that qualify as job-protected FMLA leave.  If the employee gives enough information to draw a preliminary conclusion that the leave may qualify for FMLA, the employer is considered on notice. That's why it's important for supervisors and office manager...

+ Read More   + Email Us

13
Having issues getting the right people on your team??  Start at the very beginning of the process…before the first interview… to find the right match of skill and attitude.  You need to be sure you know “who” you are looking for – and if the applicant sitting in from of you is the right fit.   This process starts with pre-planning. Be sure you have an accurate job description and specific details regarding the position; shift, location, other non negotiable expectations (ie drivers license). Use these details to place your ad; i...

+ Read More   + Email Us

19
Although there are many, many different scenarios that can occur and can be argued by both the employee, the employer and their workers’ compensation carrier as to what constitutes a compensable work injury, all claims must start with the basics.  In order to establish a right to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, an employment relationship during which an injury or accident occurs in the course of employment, and is related to the actual employment, is required. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is applicable to all injuries occurring in Pennsylvania, no mat...

+ Read More   + Email Us

08
Whenever a worker is injured in Pennsylvania and the claim is accepted, the workers’ compensation carrier, on behalf of the Employer calculates the average weekly wage (AWW) and weekly compensation rate.  The weekly rate is for wage loss benefits.    Wage loss benefits are typically approximately two-thirds of a workers’ average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum.  There are several different ways to calculate the average weekly rate under the Act.  The minimum compensation rate is the lower of 90% of the workers’ average weekly wage or 50% of the...

+ Read More   + Email Us

22
With Flu Season upon us, it is important to keep in mind two workforce management aspects…. ONE:  Unplanned absences like casual sick days result in the highest per-day productivity loss, 21% versus just 15% for planned absences like vacation days. The real impact to the organizations comes in the form of indirect cost:   ·         The employee's absence affects coworkers and slows down a project's completion. The absent employee's work is "covered" by coworkers, a temporary worker, "floaters," or the employee's superv...

+ Read More   + Email Us

14
Did you know… 67 % of illicit drug user and 74% of Binge drinkers are gainfully employed?   25% of workers know someone who is using or drinking while on the job. Our staff recently attended a drug free workplace seminar.  The program was hosted by Drug Free Workplace Solutions– a non-profit (spawned from Drug Free PA and Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs,) offering all elements of a best practices solution for a reasonable fee.   Here are some of the quick tips we learned on how you can develop a safe and substance free ...

+ Read More   + Email Us

31
Executive summary of Philadelphia BILL NO. 110111-A What: New ordinance for when employers can gather criminal records information from applicants Why:   Persons with criminal records suffer from pervasive discrimination. The intent of the Ordinance is to allow individual with a criminal record an opportunity to be judged on his or her own merit during the submission of the application and at least until the completion of one interview. Who: 1.      City agency 2.      private employer within the City of Philadelphia. a. &ld...

+ Read More   + Email Us

31
Client Question: I was told I can’t have my salaried employees punch a time clock, is that true? Answer: Many people believe it is against the Fair Labor Standard Act regulations to have a salaried exempt employee punch a time clock. However that is not the case. According to a May 2004 letter written by Department of Labor Office of Enforcement FLSA Team, “The minimum FLSA recordkeeping requirements for such employees are found in regulations 29 CFR 516.3, These regulations do not limit an employer’s ability to track working time. Consequently, it is not a violation of the...

+ Read More   + Email Us

31
Good employers do not practice discrimination and know how to avoid unfounded claims.But many employers are not aware of a growing trend in claims filed by employees against employers. For the first time ever, retaliation claims surpassed racial discrimination claims as the most common Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge. See, U.S EEOC FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report. Read more in our Legal Focus Newsletter.