Legal Focus


How Will Changes to Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Law Affect School Bus Contractors

As you know, Pennsylvania school bus drivers working for independent contractors are currently eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits during the summer break while drivers employed by a school district are not. The reason is because Article IV, Section 402.1 of Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Law (Pa UC Law) has exceptions that apply to employees of political subdivisions like a school district but that do not apply to employees of independent contractors. On October 14...
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2/1/2012| Reference Number : 8.0| Human Resources | Unemployment Compensation Brenefits |

Assuring Fair Process in Pennsylvania - Open Meetings, Right to Know, and Conflicts of Interest

Questions about the fairness of the contract negotiation process with a school district or school board are common - what matters must be discussed in open meetings, what information am I entitled to receive, and what can be done to reconcile a board member’s conflict of interest? This note will briefly discuss the Pennsylvania statues that deal with open meetings, the right to information, and the ethical issue of conflicts of interest.
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Employer's Perspective on "Self-Certification" for CDL Holders

Much has been written previously and elsewhere in this newsletter regarding the details of the FMCSA ruling that requires states to downgrade a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for failure to submit medical certifications and provide the DOT with information about the type of vehicle being driven (self-certification). Like most states, Pennsylvania is scrambling to implement legislation that will create the forms and processes required for this to occur. Since most states are not prepared to e...
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Background Check Changes in Pennsylvania

Recent changes to the Pennsylvania Public School Code tightened the state’s qualifications for school bus drivers by expanding the list of disqualifying offenses and by making those convictions a lifetime ban as opposed to a short term (five year) restriction on working as a school bus driver. This article explains the changes and gives some practical advice about the Decem-ber 27, 2011 self-reporting deadline and dealing with affected drivers.
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10/24/2011| Reference Number : 3.0| Human Resources | Background checks, Criminal Records, 24 P.S. § 1-111 |

The ABC's of ADA - American Disability Act (w/ SHRM Guidelines)

Staffing up for the start of a new school year has generated a number of inquiries about the Americans with Disabilities Act and related state laws. Following is a brief summary that provides general guidance. Each situation is unique but every situation requires proper handling and, most importantly, documentation.
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NSTA Member Advocacy: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick…

In January of 1900, Theodore Roosevelt was governor of New York when he first used the phrase, “speak softly and carry a big stick” when writing about a particular victory in local politics. The phrase later became the trademark of his foreign policy when he served as 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. For Pennsylvania’s school bus contractors, their “big stick” is the good work done by the National Student Transportation Association (NSTA). In July, I had the opportuni...
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School Bus Advertising……."Rent This Space"

Many states have recently consid-ered or have passed laws about advertising on school buses. While marketing companies hop-ing to sell advertising space are enthusiastic advocates and school boards hoping to offset costs are more cautious proponents, there are many who strongly oppose the concept. (Read more at Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood; www.commercialfreechildhood.org). But while the debate continues and some states enact legislation al-lowing school bus advertising, in-dependen...
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7/1/2011| Reference Number : 99.0| School Bus |
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