Practice Area >> Employment Law

Employment Law

Patricia V. Pierce leads our firm’s employment practice group. Ms. Pierce has over thirty years of experience protecting the rights of individuals in the workplace and in representing and counseling nonprofit corporations, partnerships and small businesses in litigation avoidance. Ms. Pierce has been regularly named to Best Lawyers for nearly two decades and in 2013 was named Best Lawyers’ Employment Law Lawyer of the Year – Individuals. Every year since 2004, Ms. Pierce has been selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® by Thomson Reuters and has been named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Pennsylvania. Ms. Pierce holds the preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell indicative of the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. In 2010, Ms. Pierce was inducted as a Fellow to the prestigious College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. Ms. Pierce is a frequent speaker and author on topics involving trial presentation, jury selection, executive compensation and employment agreements, and ERISA.

Discrimination, Retaliation, Wage Theft and Whistleblowing Litigation on Behalf of Individuals

Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms and can affect many different protected groups of people. Federal and state laws protect against employment discrimination based on protected categories such as age, race, national origin and disability. Similarly, employees and family members may encounter retaliatory treatment resulting from their exercise of rights protected under federal and state laws or because they have “blown the whistle” on illegal or unethical practices at work. The employment discrimination lawyers at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores represent individuals who have been discriminated against in the hiring process, in the terms and conditions of their employment, or have been declined a promotion, forced to retire early, or fired as a result of discrimination or retaliation for having engaged in protected activity.

Class Action or Collective Action On Behalf of Groups of Employees

Class and Collective action cases brought on behalf of groups of workers have proven effective in stopping employer abuses on an industry basis. Combining claims in a class action lawsuit or collective action lawsuit also offers a strength-in-numbers approach that increases the chances for successful litigation outcomes and provides a more cost-effective means of litigation. The kinds of issues that can be remedied in a class or collective action include “wage theft” for failure to pay for all compensable time, misclassification of employees and discriminatory terminations or mass layoff selections. GPFF attorneys have distinguished themselves in the Tri-State area and across the country in representing clients who have experienced discrimination in the workplace winning substantial verdicts at trial and significant settlements.

Representing Small Business & Non-profit corporations

Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt and Flores provides defense and litigation services to employers, small companies, nonprofit organizations and unions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and across the United States. Our firm has handled class and individual employment litigation defense on behalf of small businesses and nonprofit corporations, in addition to providing training and counseling to management in litigation avoidance measures and review and revisions of personnel policies and procedures. We represent employers and unions in legal matters pertaining to federal and state labor law compliance, employee benefits, employment contracts and agreements, and performance management.

Corporate Investigations

Our firm has also been engaged to conduct internal investigations into claims of discrimination, retaliation, and alleged whistleblowing as well as allegations of management failure to make legally required disclosures and has provided independent findings and counsel to corporations and their internal counsel. Likewise, our firm is frequently engaged to conduct investigations in an effort to develop strategies for avoiding or minimizing the risk of criminal charges as well as collateral consequences such as debarment, exclusion or suspension from government operated programs and revocation of professional licenses. Below is a list of the matters our firm is capable of handling in employment and corporate investigation matters: Discrimination in hiring, promotion, termination and all terms and conditions of employment based on:
  • Age
  • Race
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Ethnic Background
  • Family Medical Leave Violations
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability
  • Employee use of worker’s compensation entitlements or leave time under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Military status
  • Prior criminal record
  • HIV, AIDS or Genetic Information
  • Retaliation
  • Whistleblower
Class and Collective Actions to remedy:
  • Illegal wage and hour practices, including violations involving failure to pay overtime , forcing workers to work “off the clock” or during meal or rest breaks without compensation, and violations of state and federal minimum wage standards;
  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors;
  • Employment discrimination, including age, gender, race and religious discrimination on a class-wide basis in hiring, compensation, evaluation, promotion, layoffs or terminations
Negotiation, counseling and litigation on behalf of individuals and businesses concerning:
  • Executive Contracts and Compensation
  • Restructuring and Downsizing
  • Performance Management
  • EEO Compliance
  • Regulatory Compliance
Impartial Investigations:
  • False Claims Act
  • Sarbanes Oxley
  • Internal Corporate investigations into claims of discrimination
  • Parallel Criminal or Civil Investigations

Employment and Severance Agreements

Our firm represents individuals (employees, professionals, executives, and partners) and small businesses in negotiating and enforcing employment agreements. Employment agreements are written to clarify the parties’ expectations as to the terms of compensation, stock or stock options, pensions or other benefits, job security and related issues. Typical agreements spell out job title, responsibilities, eligibilities and whether the employee is employed “at-will’ or for a term of years subject to “for cause” or “good cause” provisions. Employers may want include terms concerning employees’ duties regarding confidential corporate information, non-competition or non-solicitation clauses. Special rules and regulations apply to expatriates working in this country and to US citizens who are transitioning to employment abroad, as well as to agreements involving a change of control, corporate mergers and acquisitions. Attorneys at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores have significant experience in drafting and negotiating employment agreements for our clients and in representing them should an agreement be breached.

Our Team: