Joyce Collier serves as counsel in the firm’s Employment Law, Civil Rights and Complex Litigation practice groups. Ms. Collier has thirty years of experience as a trial lawyer in state and federal court in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Her passion is in fighting for low-wage workers who have been denied the most basic workplace protections. Co-counseling with Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg, she successfully represented a group of experienced female cocktail servers who were fired from a New Jersey casino because they did not fit the stereotype the casino was looking for to fit into skimpy new uniforms. In another matter, the team took on a nationally known slaughterhouse that fired a group of workers after they complained about injuries they suffered while working on high-speed production lines. Along with Ms. Allred, Ms. Collier also represented some of the women who were harassed by Bill Cosby.
In 2018 Ms. Collier successfully litigated a matter involving a Filipino worker who suffered harassment and abuse inside a battery manufacturing plant. She also represented the head of human resources of a large university who was terminated after eighteen years of loyal service, a cancer survivor who was the only employee terminated during a purported layoff, and a woman who was fired in violation of the FMLA while she was in treatment for alcoholism. She has been able to defeat summary judgment in numerous employment cases pending in state and federal court through meticulous case analysis.
Collier’s commitment to social justice is also exemplified by her representation of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania in Washington v. DPW, No. 50 MAP 2016, in which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down Act 80 of 2012 because it violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. Act 80 eliminated a cash assistance program that provided a minimal income support for individuals with serious disabilities, people fleeing domestic violence, and individuals in active drug treatment for limited periods of time.
Collier graduated with high honors in 1988 from Rutgers School of Law after receiving the Most Promising Civil Litigator Award and the Stratton Moot Court Award. After serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Clifford of the New Jersey Supreme Court, she began her litigation career as an associate at the firm of Hangley Connolly Epstein Chicco Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia. She became a shareholder in 1995 and co-chaired the Employment Department. During her time there, she litigated numerous environmental disputes, including a landmark decision holding the federal government liable as an operator and arranger under CERCLA as a result of the government’s extensive involvement with a high tenacity rayon facility during WWII. FMC v. Department of Commerce, 29 F.3d 933 (3d Cir.1994).
Collier served as an adjunct law professor at Rutgers School of Law Camden, teaching Disability Law. For the last twenty years, she has actively served the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, located at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, as a board member, executive director and now as a volunteer.
Ms. Collier is committed to learning the most innovative trial skills. She attended the nationally acclaimed Trial Lawyer’s College in Dubois Wyoming, directed by Gerry Spence and the Ethos of Advocacy Program taught by Rick Friedman. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Advocacy of Temple University School of Law.