At Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace, we work to help employees and employers understand their rights and obligations. Although workplaces in Western Pennsylvania are governed by a variety of state and federal laws, employment-related disputes are not uncommon. The best way to protect your interests is to consult with an experienced employment law lawyer.
We have extensive experience resolving claims over discrimination, harassment, and other disputes through negotiations, administrative proceedings, and litigation. Above all, we believe that workplace fairness is mutually beneficial to employers and employees alike. Contact our employment law practice group today to learn how we can help.
Pittsburgh Employment Law Discrimination Attorneys
Federal employment laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and job candidates on the basis of protected characteristics, such as race, color, national origin, sex, age (40 and over), disability, pregnancy, and genetic information. The relevant statutes include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination (PDA)
In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and Congress is considering legislation to formalize that ruling.
These laws generally apply to employers with 15 or more employees (20 employees under the ADEA), however. Workers in Pittsburgh have additional legal protection under the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act, which covers employers with 4 or more employees and includes additional classes of protected employees, such as having a GED rather than a regular high school diploma, use of a service animal for a disabling condition, or being associated with a disabled person.
Also, state and federal equal pay laws prohibit pay discrimination based on sex for work that requires equal skill; however, pay differentials are permissible, such as those made under merit or seniority systems.
In sum, state and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating in any employment decision (e.g. hiring, firing, compensating, promoting). Whether you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination or your business is facing a discrimination claim, it is crucial to have the informed representation we provide.
How to Respond to Workplace Harassment in Pittsburgh
All employees in Pennsylvania have a right to a workplace free from sexual harassment, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Regardless of whether a supervisor, coworker, or third party (e.g. vendor, client customer) engages in harassment, it is considered an unlawful form of discrimination under state and federal laws.
Nonetheless, proving a claim can be complicated. Many employees are reluctant to come forward out of fear of retaliation, which can involve being fired, demoted, or discredited by employers and coworkers.
At Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace, we believe there should be zero tolerance for workplace harassment and commit our practice to protect the rights of employees who have been subjected to sexual harassment. At the same time, we represent employers who have been falsely accused of sexual harassment, such as by an aggrieved employee.
Wage and Hour Claims
Our employment lawyers represent employers and employees in wage and hour disputes arising from claims of wage theft (common in the restaurant industry) failure to pay overtime, and prevailing wage claims. We have a working knowledge of the applicable laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Davis Bacon Act, as well as the rules of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
Pittsburgh Employment Law Agreement Attorneys
We work with employers to mitigate the potential for employment-related disputes by helping them create a variety of agreements, including:
- Employment agreements covering the rights and responsibilities of both parties and clarifying terms, such as employee’s duties and responsibilities, salary and hours, terms of employment, vacation pay, family leave, employment benefits, grounds for termination, and severance pay.
- Nondisclosure agreements to protect a company’s confidential business information — trade secrets, client lists, and work products.
- Noncompete agreements to prevent departing employees (typically executives, salespeople, and other key personnel) from taking positions with competitors or starting a competing business.
- Severance agreements outlining the terms and conditions of termination including liability waivers and severance pay.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in the Greater Pittsburgh Area
Although all employees have a right to a safe work environment, accidents resulting in injuries are common. For this reason, all employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, which provides injured workers with benefits such as partial wage replacement and coverage for medical expenses.
Nonetheless, obtaining these benefits can become complicated if an insurer or employer contests a claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We also work with employers to assess their liabilities and determine the amount of coverage they need to protect their most valuable resource — their workers.
Contact Our Experienced Pittsburgh Employment Lawyers
The contemporary workplace continues to evolve in the face of technological advances and ever-changing laws. The best way for employers and workers to keep pace with these changes is to consult with the experienced employment lawyers at Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.