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Mark A. Sereni

Mark Sereni’s Answers

4 total

  • Employer Background check

    I wanted to know if my employer will see the arrest I had when I was 13 or 14 years old. Charges were made but dropped and just had to pay a fine.

    Mark’s Answer

    I assume you are referring to merely a Pennsylvania juvenile charge for which you were not prosecuted as an adult. If so, then no, a criminal history check that is performed lawfully should not disclose that type of charge. As a double-check, you can obtain your criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police. Go to its website at, click on "Public Services", then go to "Criminal History Request." Good luck.

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  • Once an offer is made, may an employer rescind it based on HR's conversation with a former employer?

    Say someone lists the reason their former employment ended as "financial reasons." And let's say that financial reasons were one of several reasons the employee was terminated. Can a new employer ask the former employer whether that is true, and...

    Mark’s Answer

    As a general rule, Pennsylvania law does not prohibit a former employer from communicating to a prospective employer true assertions of fact concerning a former employee.

    An exception to this general rule involves the former employer's communicating information that the law regards to be confidential (for example, the former employer breaks a confidentiality agreement with the former employee) or private (for example, the former employer relays private health information such as HIV status). If the former employer communicates something like that, and that causes the prospective employer to rescind a job offer, the former employer could be held liable.

    Of course, if a former employer communicates to a prospective empoyer a false assertion of fact concerning the former employee, and that causes the prospective employer to rescind a job offer, the former employer could be held liable for that as well. That could constitute defamation or invasion of privacy under Pennsylvania law.

    The former employee here may benefit from having his or her lawyer conduct an investigation and attempt to persuade the former employer from communicating anything in the future concerning the former employee other than a neutral reference, which is the common practice of more sophisticated employers who try to minimize liability exposure.

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  • Can I sue my employer for not doing anything to keep me from being harassed at work in Pennsylvania?

    A fellow employee with anger management issues is targeting me for intimidation and harassment. I've reported this to my direct supervisor, and then it happened again in the same day. I'm fearful in my workplace over this. I want to leave this emp...

    Mark’s Answer

    If your fellow employee is targeting you for harassment for an unlawfully discriminatory reason (such as your race, sex, religion, etc.) and you have reported that to your employer, the law requires your employer to promptly investigate and take reasonable action to stop the harassment. Assuming the above, if you did not make the report to your employer in writing, you should immediately confirm it in writing; that will give you better protection against retaliation by your employer. Under Pennsylvania law, you must initiate with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission a charge of discrimination or retaliation no later that 180 days after the act of discrimination or retaliation.

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  • Is my girlfreind being treated fairly according to pennsylvania laws.

    She has been woking at a healthcare facility for over 3 years. She never recieved a single write up and has received numerouse awards. She always works overtime and she is relied on alot due to her willingness to always work and work hard. Ahe per...

    Mark’s Answer

    If your girlfriend's employer is paying her a lower hourly rate than that of identical employees based upon an unlawful consideration (such as her sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, etc.), then the employer would appear to be violating the law. What is the employer's claimed reason why it is paying your girlfriend less? What does your girlfriend believe is the true reason?

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