Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Philadelphia Issues Poster for Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

As previously reported on this blog, Philadelphia’s paid sick leave ordinance—known as the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance—goes into effect on May 13, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

EEOC Issues Proposed Regulations on Employee Wellness Programs

In recent years, many employers have chosen to implement employee wellness programs. These programs are mutually beneficial and often result in reductions in healthcare costs and absenteeism as well as increases in employee productivity and morale. Nevertheless, employers must take care to ensure that wellness programs do not violate laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Read the rest of this entry »

FLSA takes one step closer to changing “white-collar” exemptions

After a number of promises and missed deadlines, the new FLSA regulations took another step forward yesterday. The Department of Labor announced on its website that it has drafted the new rules and sent them to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The OMB will review the proposal and determine an approximate cost associated with the new rules before they are published for public comment. After a period of public comment, the final rule will be issued and an effective date for the changes will be set.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date on all developments in this area and once the draft of the new regulations is published, we will post more information.

As previously detailed on this blog, it is anticipated that the U.S. Department of Labor will announce proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white-collar” exemptions in the near feature. As these changes are expected to greatly increase the number of workers who will be entitled to overtime pay, we are encouraging all employers to be proactive on this issue and sign up for our FLSA Compliance Program.

If you have any questions about this post or any other labor and employment topic, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at

NMM’s 3rd Annual Economic Development Symposium a Success

We hosted our 3rd Annual Economic Development Symposium on April 30 at the Renaissance Allentown. My colleagues John Lushis and Graham Simmons, along with Scott Dunkelberger, Executive Director of the Center for Business Financing, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and Don Cunningham, President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVEDC), discussed the current and future focus of economic development in Pennsylvania, highlighting the practice of working with economic development incentives.   For more on the event click here and here, and if you have any questions, concerns, or interest in economic development contact me at and check out our Economic Development Law blog.

New Philadelphia Ordinance Mandates Paid Sick Leave

As previously detailed on this blog, President Obama has endorsed proposed federal legislation that would mandate paid sick leave for employees. He has also called on states and municipalities to pass similar bills that would impact businesses both large and small. While Governor Wolf has followed suit by proposing paid sick leave for those who work for Pennsylvania businesses with fifty (50) or more employees, Philadelphia has gone a step further. Read the rest of this entry »

Are Your Employees and Volunteers Compliant with Act 153’s Background Checks?

Following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Pennsylvania has passed a number of laws aimed at protecting children in the Commonwealth. Perhaps the most notable of these laws is Act 153 of 2014, which requires certain employees and volunteers who interact with children to obtain state and federal criminal background checks.

Act 153 broadly applies to all unpaid volunteers or paid employees who are “responsible for the welfare of a child” or have “direct contact with children,” which is defined as “the care, supervision, guidance or control or routine interaction with children.” Under the law, these individuals must obtain the following background checks: Read the rest of this entry »

The EEOC’s New “Digital Charge” Program Goes Nationwide this Fall

The EEOC has recently instituted a “Digital Charge” pilot program in several regions of the country that drastically alters how employers will learn of and respond to discrimination charges filed against them. Under this new program, employers will receive a letter entitled “Notice of Charge of Discrimination” that contains a link to view the entire charge on a secure online portal. Employers will also use this online portal to submit documents to the EEOC, including position statements and supporting documentation.

The EEOC intends to implement its new “Digital Charge” program nationwide this fall. As such, employers need to be aware of the new program and how it will change responding to charges of discrimination. We will update you with more information regarding the program as we learn of it. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions regarding the EEOC’s new “Digital Charge” pilot program or any other labor and employment topic, please contact any member of our Labor and Employment Law Department: George Hlavac, Jeff Stewart, Ed Easterly, or John Buckley.


PA IRRC Approves Brewery Sales Provision

On April 16, 2015, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the final form regulation received from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and cleared up any confusion regarding brewery sales.  Shortly after this regulation is approved by the Attorney General’s Office, the new Section 3.93, Title 40 of the Pennsylvania Code, will allow breweries to sell malt beverages for on-premises consumption at all of their brewery locations.  There will be requirements that breweries have at least 10 seats and offer snacks such as chips; however, these minor conditions are far outweighed by the benefits brought to our smaller Pennsylvania breweries who will be able to have tasting rooms without the necessity of complying with the burdensome and costly requirements of full service restaurant facilities.  We expect the regulation to be in effect no later than June.

For additional information regarding this matter or for addressing any other liquor law matters, please contact Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire at or at our offices at 610-391-1800.

Shareholder Oppression: Back to the Basics

I have written about shareholder lawsuits, specifically oppression suits, in the past.  However, given the rise in the number of these suits that we have seen over the last year, I thought it was time to refresh our recollection on some of the basics.

What is Shareholder Oppression? Read the rest of this entry »

Atheist’s Religious Discrimination Case Gets Second Wind

Pennsylvania employers are familiar with many bedrock principles of Unemployment Compensation (“UC”) law, such as “cause of a necessitous and compelling nature” or “willful misconduct.” As shown by a recent federal court decision, however, there are equally important but lesser-known principles in this area of the law that even the courts must be reminded of. Read the rest of this entry »