Employee Employment Matters

We advocate for your rights
Gross McGinley Lehigh County PA Employment Law Attorneys

Employee Employment Matters

Sometimes it’s hard to know if you have a legal claim — or not. If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly, you should talk to an attorney. We deeply understand the complex laws and regulations that protect workers.

In addition to supporting you with concerns about discrimination, EEOC, and PHRC issues, our employment attorneys also offer guidance on:

  • Deferred compensation agreements
  • Employment contracts
  • Noncompete agreements
  • Severance agreements

As your advocate, we’re in your corner. We’ll help you hold your employer accountable for breaking the law. We’ll also make sure any agreements you sign benefit you, your career, and your financial interests.


While we’d all love to work for an employer who’s fair, values our contributions, and doesn’t discriminate, sometimes discrimination occurs. When that happens, employees have two legal options: to fil a claim with either the EEOC or the PHRC.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that protect workers from discrimination because of age, sex, gender, and more.

Although you may not need to hire an attorney before you file an EEOC complaint, it doesn’t hurt to talk to one. Our attorneys can advise you on what to report — and how to write your report so it strengthens your complaint.

Sometimes, administrative processes or informal settlements don’t reach a satisfactory conclusion. The EEOC can choose to file a lawsuit in federal court. You have the right to work with one of their attorneys or hire someone privately. When you work with an attorney you choose, you gain more control. We’ve also successfully negotiated outside of court to settle many of our clients’ EEOC cases.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRC) protects workers’ rights by prohibiting discrimination from:

  • Employers
  • Employment agencies
  • Labor organizations

If you believe that your workplace has discriminated against you, talk to an attorney. We’ll help you file a complaint with the PHRC. We answer all your questions and will fight to negotiate the best outcome.

Deferred compensation pans offer certain benefits to employees. The plan, which requires your employer to hold part of your pay until a specific date, can generate capital gains and tax savings. These plans include pensions, retirement plans, and employee stock options.

Should your employer refuse to follow through with the terms of your specific deferred compensation agreement, we can litigate or arbitrate that disagreement. Sometimes an employer may misclassify a qualified deferment plan as a non-qualified plan. Our attorneys will work to protect your rights and your investment.

Discrimination comes in many forms. Some workers experience unlawful harassment and discrimination because of age, disability, gender, race, or religion. Other types of discrimination include:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Parent status
  • National origin

Companies that refuse to hire someone perceived as “too old” or that hire a younger candidate based on their age risk discrimination. Businesses that implement layoffs or force reductions disproportionately targeting older workers may face charges of discrimination. So do organizations that fire or harass someone with a disease or disability specifically protected by disability laws.

Whether you face direct or indirect discrimination, harassment, or victimization, we’re on your side. We’ll fight to protect your rights.

Few employers negotiate employment contracts with their workers. But sometimes it benefits both sides. This signed agreement outlines employment terms and clearly states everyone’s rights and responsibilities. These agreements include specific information about compensation and
evaluation. It may also include specifics about:

  • Terms of employment, whether an end date or contracted period of time
  • Salary, wage, and commission information
  • Vacation and sick leave
  • Employee medical benefits
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Severance packages

It doesn’t hurt to have an attorney review an employment contract before you sign it. Our team will review its terms, make sure it’s legally enforceable, and answer any questions you have. We can also help you to negotiate stronger terms to benefit you — or renegotiate an existing contract if you or your employer wish to make updates.

The US has seen a growing trend of employers requiring their workforces to sign noncompete agreements (also called covenants not to compete). Designed to protect trade secrets, these legal documents limit where — and for whom — you can work when you leave your company. If you’ve been asked to sign a noncompete agreement, it’s to your benefit to ask an attorney to review it first.

Businesses that must lay off or terminate employees often offer a severance package. These agreements typically offer a cash payment extension when you sign them. Other elements can include:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Vacation or sick time payouts
  • Benefit extensions

Sometimes, severance agreements also ask you to waive claims against your former employer or give up your right to participate in a lawsuit against the employer. These agreements can also set binding arbitration requirements.

Before you sign on the dotted line, talk to one of our attorneys. We know what rights a severance agreement cannot waive. We look out for your rights by reading the fine print to make sure the agreement benefits you.

Employee Employment Matters Team

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Samuel E. Cohen

Samuel E. Cohen

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Jessica S. Kaczinski

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Anne K. Manley

Anne K. Manley

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Paul A. McGinley

Paul A. McGinley

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Thomas E. Reilly, Jr.

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Lauren Speziale

Loren L. Speziale


Frequently Asked Questions

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Since 1976, we’ve been serving individuals, businesses, and communities through the greater Lehigh Valley. Learn more about us.

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