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Employment Law

The employment relationship is crucial to everyone. Work is where we earn our daily bread. It is also where we spend much of our waking hours. Our interaction with managers and co-workers can affect us on the most personal basis.

Edward C. Sweeney has 20 years of experience. He has litigated most types of employment cases in federal or state court and has advised clients on a host of employment issues. Mr. Sweeney is in a unique position to provide sound employment law advice to clients and to vigorously litigate cases on their behalf.

Employment suits and representations. We represent individuals and small companies in a wide variety of employment situations. We review employment contracts and separation agreements. We litigate cases in federal and state court involving employment and disability discrimination, violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), violation of ERISA, short- and long-term disability, firing because of your work injury, whistleblower cases, and failure to pay wages and overtime (“FLSA” or “WPCL” cases).

We also provide employment counseling to clients on an hourly-fee basis to those who have ongoing issues in the workplace. Some firms only wish to litigate on behalf of an injured employee. Our firm wishes to represent your interests and advise you whether you are terminated or still employed. We find that prompt advice by us can salvage the employment relationship. Our advice also puts you in the best position to protect your rights in case you are fired.

Many employees who have been separated from employment do have a remedy. Almost all individuals have a right to seek benefits as a result of unemployment. Some employees have contractual rights. Others may have rights due to wrongful termination. If you are a member of a union, we can advise you whether the union is fulfilling its duty of fair representation under your collective bargaining agreement. Call us. We can advise you whether you have a claim and provide advice regarding your rights.

Here are just some of the areas in which employment issues exist:

  • Violation of Discrimination Laws. Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably than another in a comparable situation because of their age, sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, or pregnancy. Employers are not allowed to take an adverse employment action because of discrimination. Adverse employment actions include separation, demotion, failure to promote, or inequality in granting benefits or assignments. Employers also cannot allow a “hostile work” environment to exist because of a person’s race, sex, national origin, disability or other protected class. If you need help, call us.
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  • Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability. Employees may have the right to have their disability accommodated by their Employer. Our firm has represented individuals who need an accommodation for a disability but who love their jobs and do not want to create permanent ill-will with their employers. If you need help, call us.
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  • Family and Medical Leave. All employers of a certain size must offer twelve weeks of leave to employees for a “serious” medical condition or for the birth of a child or to care for a foster child. However, the word “serious” is defined in a manner which is somewhat favorable to employees who need the leave. A general rule is that you need to treat under a doctor’s care for three or more days for your injury to be serious. This right applies to employees who have worked at least a year. If you need help, call us.
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  • Wage Payment, Overtime and Minimum Wage laws. You have a claim if your employer fails to pay a legitimate request for regular or overtime wages or fails to pay you the minimum wage. Pennsylvania law protects employees under the Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you need help, call us.
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  • Whistleblower Cases. A civil suit exists if a government agency or a company that receives funds from the government is fired or otherwise treated differently because of reporting fraud or abuse of government money. These cases have a short limitations period of 180 days to sue. If you need help, call us.
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  • Retaliation Claims. It is against the law to retaliate against someone for activity that the law protects. The law protects you from adverse employment action if you file a claim against your employer for an unlawful practice or you participate or assist with someone else’s claim. In Pennsylvania, an employee has the right to file a civil suit for matters that may surprise you. For instance, you cannot be fired for filing a work injury claim or for testifying in an unemployment case for a co-worker. You cannot be fired for supporting a fellow employee’s unemployment claim. These are just some of the cases that can occur. If you need help, call us.
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  • ERISA and Medical Insurance Continuation Claims. The Employer may try to fire you to avoid paying your medical bills. Your employer or your Benefit Plan Administrator may also try to deprive you of benefits by delaying sending your COBRA continuation notice or not sending it after you leave the company. We can help you. If you need help, call us.
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  • Duty of Fair Representation Cases. Union employees who are disciplined or terminated often meet resistance from unions to protect their rights. We fight to make sure that a union will fairly represent you up to and including an arbitration under the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the employer. If you need help, call us.
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  • Refusal to Hire because of a Criminal Record. In Pennsylvania, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because of a criminal record unless there is a relationship between the job you seek and the nature of the crime. If you need help, call us.
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  • Civil Service Commission Cases. As a civil servant, you have the right to appeal your discipline or termination to the Civil Service Commission. This is an area where we will represent a client. If you need help, call us.
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Unemployment Cases. Employers often attempt to deprive an employee who loses a job through no fault of their own of unemployment benefits. Employees have paid for the right to receive unemployment insurance benefits through salary deductions. Employees have the right to receive benefits in most situations unless the particular employee quits or commits willful misconduct. We have represented many persons or small companies in unemployment hearings and in appeals to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. If you need help, call us.

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