Employers Brace for Uptick in Harassment and Discrimination Claims: Making Sure Your Organization is Ready

It is impossible to avoid the headlines, which for months have been dominated by claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination filed against high-profile figures – from Hollywood to the halls of Congress. Experts say it is inevitable that these newsworthy complaints, and the conversations they have touched off, will have a significant and lasting impact on employers in far less visible sectors.

As a result, employers large and small are taking stock of their current culture, policies and protocols to ensure that they are taking all necessary precautions to protect their employees and their businesses, and we are encouraging our clients to take proactive steps now to avoid being caught unprepared for complaints in their organizations.

So it’s time to dust off the handbooks and review and update your policies addressing harassment and discrimination complaints – and given the urgency surrounding these issues, it is not enough to simply email the new policy, obtain a “read receipt” and hope for the best. In order for these policies to be effective, employers need to provide interactive training to ensure that managers and employees understand the policies, know what legally prohibited harassment is (and is not), and have a clear understanding of reporting and response protocols.

The type of training you provide is also key – online training and pre-recorded videos aren’t enough – managers and employees need to have the opportunity to engage, ask questions and receive expert advice in order to understand the law and policies and avoid issues. Taking these important steps sends a clear message to employees, clients and customers that you take harassment and discrimination concerns seriously – and substantially reduces the risk of having your organization end up in the headlines – or in the courtroom.

Concerned leaders will be making this a priority in the New Year for their organizations, and your experienced employment law team at CGA is here to help. Contact Attorney Christine Nentwig to discuss how CGA can assist with drafting clear and effective policies and delivering interactive training programs for your managers and employees that are tailored to your business and your budget.

Power Line Project Will Affect Southern York County Residents

Residents in Chanceford, Lower Chanceford, Hopewell, East Hopewell and Fawn Townships are currently confronted with proposed construction of 40 miles of high-voltage electric power lines on 135-foot towers by Transource Energy. Farmers and landowners in the area are rightfully concerned about the benefit of the project to residents of our area, the impact the project could have on individual properties, and the compensation that affected landowners may receive. While Transource is still in the PUC permitting process and has not finalized its proposed route, survey crews have already contacted landowners for temporary access to map out the project. After PUC approval, Transource will return seeking permanent rights-of-way for the project.

It is important for landowners to know their legal rights when dealing with the utility company. Landowners will find themselves approached by Transource representatives, each with a different personality and a different pitch, all seeking the same thing: an easement over your property for the lowest amount of compensation possible. Landowners will need good counsel to obtain best value and draft an agreement that will protect their rights and address such  issues as crop damage, timber loss and environmental concerns. The assistance of an experienced attorney to protect your rights is essential.

CGA Law Firm has a history of successfully representing landowners in negotiations with utility companies. Our attorneys have helped property owners to protect their property rights and obtain settlements for their properties. When necessary, we vigorously defended our clients’ interest in the courts to assure that award to the landowner is fair. Our attorneys live in the area and share your interests and values when it comes to protecting your home, farm and family. We will be happy to assist you to make the easement process fair, understandable and in your best interest.

For more information, contact Attorney Timothy J. Bupp at tbupp@cgalaw.com, or the CGA Real Estate Law Practice Group at 717.848.4900.  

CGA Partnered with York SHRM for Half-Day Seminar in March

CGA Law Firm is proud to have partnered with the York Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer a half-day seminar on Tuesday, March 14 from at the Country Club of York. Labor & Employment attorneys Anne E. Zerbe, Zachary E. Nahass and Christine Nentwig served as facilitators. Four sessions were offered, including lunch and a session with nationally recognized SHRM presenter, Margaret Morford.

 

Attorney Leanne M. Miller Elected a CGA Shareholder

CGA Law Firm is pleased to announce that Attorney Leanne M. Miller has been elected a member of the firm.

Jeffrey L. Rehmeyer II, CGA’s president shares, “With Leanne’s diverse background and hard work ethic, she has developed into an extraordinary attorney, offering her clients insightful and assertive representation.” He adds, “We look forward to Leanne’s continued leadership and involvement at CGA, as she becomes an owner of the firm and expands her role with us.”

Attorney Miller counsels individuals and families through challenging life-changing events that require legal representation. She concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, estate planning and administration, and bankruptcy.

In her family law practice, she advises individuals and couples in a wide range of family matters including custody, divorce, dependency, adoptions, guardianships and support.

Attorney Miller assists individuals in the many aspects of estate planning – from drawing up a simple will – to setting up a trust. She prepares plans to care for and protect her clients’ families while minimizing taxes, probate and other administrative expenses.

In her bankruptcy practice, Attorney Miller advises her clients on their options and determines if restructuring their debt or filing for bankruptcy would be the best choice.

Prior to joining the firm, Attorney Miller was a chemistry professor at Penn State University’s York Campus. She received her B.S. in chemistry at Shippensburg University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. Attorney Miller completed her J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2008.

She is a member of the York County Bar Association and the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC). Attorney Miller also serves a York County Juvenile Master handling delinquency matters. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and has handled cases in York, Adams, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, Cumberland and Snyder Counties. Attorney Miller has also appeared before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

To reach Attorney Miller call (717) 848-4900 ext. 125 or email her at lmiller@cgalaw.com.

2017 Tax Amnesty Program: Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

The PenAttorney Brent C. Diefenderfernsylvania Department of Revenue (PADOR) has announced the features of its 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. The Amnesty Program begins on April 21, 2017 and ends on June 19, 2017. All taxes owed to the Commonwealth and administered by PADOR are eligible for the Amnesty Program. To participate in the program, taxpayers must file an Amnesty Return, file all delinquent taxes and returns and make the required payment within the amnesty period. The principal feature of the tax amnesty program is that all penalties, collection and lien fees and one-half of the interest due will be waived in exchange for payment of the tax and one-half of the interest owed. Most taxes are eligible for participation in this program. This includes personal income tax, corporate net income tax, inheritance and estate tax, and sales and use tax.

If a taxpayer owes delinquent taxes, the written notice will be sent from PADOR where there is a valid address on the Department’s records. A participating taxpayer must file an Amnesty Return, make payment of all taxes and one-half the interest due to the Commonwealth, file complete tax returns, including those for years which are not eligible for the amnesty program. Along with payment for all taxes reported on the Amnesty Return and one-half of the interest on those taxes, all missing tax returns or reports must be filed electronically or on paper no later than June 19, 2017. There is no extension for the filing of missing tax returns or reports eligible for the Amnesty Program.

Taxpayers who have entered into duly approved and executed deferred payment plans with PADOR are eligible to participate in the amnesty program. However, they are limited to the relief from penalty and one-half of the interest that remains on their payment plan balance as of the date of the final tax payment and they must complete payment of the entire delinquency by the close of the Amnesty period. The relief will not be based on the original balances of tax, penalty and interest at commencement of the payment.

For more information about the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program, please contact Attorney Brent C. Diefenderfer of CGA Law Firm’s Bankruptcy and Debt Restructuring Department by email or at (717) 848-4900 ext. 127.

 

Attorneys Young and Paxton Selected for Inclusion to the 2016 PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

For the 11th consecutive year, Attorney Lawrence V. Young has been selected for inclusion to the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state were selected. In addition, Attorney Andrew M. Paxton has been selected to the list of 2016 Pennsylvania Rising Stars for the fourth year in a row. Only 2.5% of the lawyers in the state were selected. Attorneys who are selected to the Pennsylvania Rising Star list are 40 or under or have been in practice for 10 years or less. Both attorneys are shareholders at CGA Law Firm in York, PA.

Lawrence V. YoLawrence V. Youngung is a shareholder and chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy Department. He limits his practice to consumer bankruptcy matters, Chapter 11 and corporate reorganizations, debt restructuring and workouts. Larry is certified as a Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification, and is one of only 25 others who have this designation throughout the Commonwealth. He is a past president of the York County Bar Association, the York County Bar Foundation, the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association and Central Pennsylvania Legal Services. Larry has been an active member of the Pro Bono Committee of the York County Bar Association since 1993, serving as Committee Chair for much of that time. In 2013, he received the Outstanding Member Award from the York County Bar Association. Earlier this year, he was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the York County Bar Association with the Jeffrey A. Ernico Award for his pro bono work.

AndrewAndrew-M-Paxton M. Paxton, a shareholder with CGA Law Firm, leads the Corporate and Business Law Department. He concentrates his legal practice in business law, real estate and taxation with a particular focus on technology, telecommunications, emerging businesses and intellectual property matters. He provides counsel through all stages of an organization; from starting a new venture, financing, protecting intellectual property, obtaining licensing, expansion and growth, to successfully exiting when the time is right. As an advisor, he also provides businesses with innovative strategies on tax planning, financing, drafting and reviewing contracts and real estate transactions. Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for the Redevelopment Authority for the City of York, as well as the York County Food Bank.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. The list of selected attorneys appears in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine each May. Click here to learn more: www.superlawyers.com.

With a team of nearly 70 attorneys and professionals, CGA Law Firm offers depth of experience, passion and skill to businesses, individuals, municipalities and school districts. Practice areas include:

  • Bankruptcy & Debtor/Creditor Rights
  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate & Business Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Domestic & Family Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Health Law
  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Municipal Law
  • School Law

CGA Law Firm prides itself on its commitment to community. The firm supports a wide variety of charitable, cultural, educational and civic organizations throughout South Central PA with charitable donations, volunteer involvement and pro bono services.

CGA Law Firm Boosts School, Municipal and Labor & Employment Law Groups with Addition of Sean A. Fields

Attorney Sean A. Fields recently joined CGA Law Firm in York, PA. He brings over 12 years of experience and expertise in School Law, Municipal Law and Labor & Employment Law to CGA. During his 12-year career practicing school law with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), he successfully worked with superintendents, school directors, and solicitors on a variety of legal issues including student discipline, extracurricular activities, employment matters, taxation, and constitutional rights. He is skilled in drafting school district policies, analyzing statutes, writing briefs and providing legal training to school leaders at every level.

Sean has experience dealing with the Sunshine Act, Right-to-Know Law, competitive bidding, and Ethics Act issues. In addition, he is skilled in reviewing and developing employment policies and providing training to clients so they can mitigate risks. He is experienced in dealing with hiring practices and employment discrimination. Sean has worked specifically with school districts on issues involving employee discipline and employee rights. He is also an accomplished presenter and author.

Sean is a graduate of The Dickinson School of Law of Penn State University and Northern Kentucky University. He is admitted to the United States Middle District Court of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Shippensburg University and Harrisburg Area Community College.

According to CGA Law Firm president, Jeffrey L. Rehmeyer II, “Sean was a valuable resource while he served as counsel at the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. He was insightful and helpful on a variety of school law issues, including employment and discipline. Sean’s knowledge on the laws governing public meetings and public records is impeccable. We are happy that Sean has joined us at the CGA Law Firm, adding to our depth in both the school and municipal law departments.” He notes, “Sean is an interesting and humorous individual, in addition to being a terrific lawyer.”

CGA Law Firm is comprised of 29 attorneys advising individuals, businesses, municipalities and school districts throughout South-central Pennsylvania on their legal needs. Focused on what is important to their clients and the outcomes they want to achieve, the attorneys at CGA listen and provide sound advice in order to reach their clients’ personal and business goals. Practice areas include:

  • Bankruptcy & Debtor/Creditor Rights
  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate & Business Law
  • Domestic & Family Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Health Law
  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual Property
  • Land Use & Development
  • Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Municipal Law
  • Military Law
  • Real Estate
  • School Law
  • Taxation

Additionally, CGA Law Firm prides itself on its commitment to community. The firm supports a wide variety of charitable, cultural, educational and civic organizations throughout South Central PA with charitable donations, volunteer involvement and pro bono services.

Congratulations, Glenn J. Smith

Glenn J. SmithYork County President Commissioner Susan Byrnes recently announced that former CGA Law Firm attorney Glenn J. Smith has been selected as York County’s solicitor, replacing Michael Flannelly who left the position to become a common pleas court judge.

Glenn has been a valued member of CGA’s Municipal Practice Group, and brings to the County extensive experience in civil, criminal and municipal law. He has worked with several of the County’s row officers and represented the PA State Mayors’ Association. Glenn is active in such community organizations as Creative York, The Rotary Club of York and the York County Economic Alliance. He and his daughter Giovanna, 13, reside in Manchester Township.

We at CGA will miss working with Glenn directly, but we congratulate him on his new position and look forward to working with him as York County Solicitor!

CGA Attorney Lawrence V. Young Honored for Significant Pro Bono Work

Congratulations to Attorney Lawrence V. Young, a shareholder with CGA Law Firm and chair of the Bankruptcy Practice Group, who was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) and the York County Bar Association (YCBA) with the Jeffrey A. Ernico Award in January. The award celebrates the pro bono accomplishments of Harrisburg attorney Jeffrey A. Ernico and his long-standing commitment to equal justice and serving those who had nowhere else to turn.

The award is given from the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Legal Services to the Public Committee. This honor is only shared on occasion with those who have provided significant legal services to those in need. Larry has spent a lifetime doing just that. The plaque reads, “A Champion of Access to Justice, Larry Young has provided pro bono service and leadership in York County and beyond. His example and his leadership in the field are greatly appreciated.”

York County Bar Association and Bar Foundation CEO, Victoria Connor notes, “Leading by example, Larry Young has dedicated a lifetime of service, as well as financial support, to the Bar’s efforts to improve the legal profession, promote public understanding of the law, and increase access to justice for our community’s most vulnerable – particularly the elderly, and those struggling with poverty and domestic abuse.”

She adds, “As a result of his professionalism and integrity, Larry is highly respected by his peers and the community. He has been a member of the York County Bar for 41 years and has served as president of both the Bar Association and Bar Foundation. Today, Larry remains one of our most active and engaged members, chairing the Pro Bono Committee for more than 20 years and participating on the Foundation Board, Philanthropy and Grants committees. Larry’s involvement has been an integral part of the York County Bar’s success in developing programs to help close the justice gap in York County.”

Pennsylvania Bar Association President William H. Pugh V (right) and Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis (left) present the award to Attorney Lawrence V. Young.
Pennsylvania Bar Association President William H. Pugh V (right) and Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis (left) present the Jeffrey A. Ernico Award to Attorney Lawrence V. Young.

 

Municipal Law 101 Seminar

You’re invited to CGA Law Firm’s

Municipal Law 101 Seminar

Monday, February 29, 2016

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Are you a newly elected or seasoned official or manager?

Join CGA Law Firm’s municipal law attorneys for an overview and legal update on municipal laws in Pennsylvania. This educational program will provide an overview of the Sunshine Act, Right-to-Know Law and parliamentary procedure. A primer on the Ethics Act and conflicts of interest will be covered, plus a bonus session on meeting safety.

Seminar Details

Monday, February 29, 2016

Session 1:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  OR  Session 2:  5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Registration begins 15 minutes before each session. Space is limited for this complimentary program. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 24. Make sure to indicate which seminar you plan to attend. Email Kim Brenner-Zirkle at kbrenner-zirkle@cgalaw.com or call (717) 718-8339.