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Employment Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Did something happen to you at work? An experienced lawyer at Kitay Law Offices can help you.

An employment lawyer can represent you for legal claims such as sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Are you in need of immediate help? Tell us what happened and get in touch now → 

The lawyers at Kitay Law Offices can help you with employment law matters, including:

  • Discrimination
  • Workplace harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • Whistleblower retaliation
  • Wage and hour law

Violations like discrimination, workplace harassment, and sexual harassment are very serious. In addition, the deadlines to file a legal claim are very strict. If you miss the deadline, then you will never be able to make a claim against your employer.


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Workplace Discrimination

Despite much progress over many years, workplace discrimination is still a serious problem. Luckily, there are several federal, state, and local laws that protect you. However, it’s important to remember that not all discrimination is illegal. Rather, the law prohibits workplace discrimination that is based on specified characteristics called “protected classes.” For example, federal law prohibits discrimination against you based on your:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Ancestry
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Age

Further, Pennsylvania employment law prohibits additional types of discrimination. For example, this could be based on GED completion or refusal to participate in abortion or sterilization. Some cities, such as Philadelphia, have their own discrimination ordinances. Such ordinances prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you believe you’ve been fired, denied a job, or denied a promotion due to unlawful discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Therefore, you should contact an lawyer in Pennsylvania right away. Call Kitay Law Offices at 1-888-KITAY-LAW for a free consultation.

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Workplace Harassment

Workplace discrimination can include lots of different actions. Here is a list of several cases where you may have experienced workplace discrimination:

  • Your employer fired you
  • You were not hired for a job for which you were qualified
  • Promotion was denied

Workplace discrimination can also include when your employer harasses you.  In fact, workplace harassment can even include when your employer fails to stop harassment by other employees. “Harassment” is a general term that may include things like:

  • Insults
  • Epithets
  • Stereotypes
  • Derogatory comments
  • Pranks
  • Surveillance
  • Increased job scrutiny, and/or
  • Any other form of unequal or unfair treatment

In more severe instances, harassment may also include assault or unwanted sexual advances. This is called creating a “hostile work environment.” But like discrimination, not all harassment is illegal.

No one deserves to be in a hostile work environment. You have the right to work in a safe, professional environment without harassment or degrading treatment. If you believe that you are suffering from illegal harassment at work because of your race, color, ancestry, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, call Kitay Law Offices at 1-888-KITAY-LAW to speak to one of our experienced lawyers in Pennsylvania.

Workplace Retaliation

Both state and federal law protect you from retaliation by your employer for complaining about illegal discrimination or harassment. The law also protects you if you participate in someone else’s complaint of illegal discrimination or harassment. If you believe your employer retaliated against you because you complained about its discriminatory treatment of you or others, you may be entitled to compensation.

Workplace Civil Rights

If you work for a government employer, you have certain rights under the U.S. Constitution with regard to your job. Importantly, these are in addition to those rights protected by state and federal laws. Here are a few quick examples:

  • Under the First Amendment, your public employer cannot retaliate against you for engaging in protected speech or political activity.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment prevents your public employer from treating you differently because of your race, color, ancestry, gender, disability, or religion.
  • If you are a union member and can only be fired for “just cause,” the Fourteenth Amendment entitles you to notice and a hearing before you can be fired.

Whistle Blower Retaliation

Government employees also receive special protection against retaliation for reporting waste or misconduct. Exposing government waste or misconduct is an important public interest, and the law protects government employees when complaining about it. If you were fired or disciplined for complaining about your public employer’s waste or misconduct, call Kitay Law Offices at 1-888-KITAY-LAW to discuss your potential options with one of our lawyers in Pennsylvania.

Unpaid Wages & Overtime

Generally, both state and federal laws require your employer to pay minimum wage and overtime.  Overtime is usually considered every hour you work over 40 hours per week. Pennsylvania law also requires your employer to pay all the wages you’ve earned on regularly scheduled pay days. In short, you may have a legal claim if:

  • You are paid less than minimum wage
  • Overtime pay has been denied to you
  • You employer refuses to pay you for your work

If any of these situations apply to you, contact the experienced attorneys at 1-888-KITAY-LAW to schedule a FREE consultation.

Where can you find our employment lawyers in Pennsylvania?

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your questions about employment law and sexual harassment.

What are the laws in Pennsylvania that prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

The Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act forbid employers from making job decisions based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Nationality
  • Disability
  • Age (if the employee is at least 40 years old).

Many towns, cities, and counties across Pennsylvania also have their own anti-discrimination laws. In some cases these laws may provide greater coverage than federal or state law. These laws generally apply to all phases of the employment process. The phases of the employment process include

  • Job posting and application
  • Promotions
  • Pay and benefits
  • Leave requests
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Layoffs and firings

Do all employers in Pennsylvania have to follow both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act?

No. Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 applies only to Pennsylvania employers with at least 15 employees. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies only to Pennsylvania employers with at least 20 employees. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act applies only to Pennsylvania employers with at least 4 employees.  You can even download a copy of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act for your own reference.

Can I bring my service animal to my job?

Yes, you are able to bring a service animal to your job, by law. In fact, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that the following employers do not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities:

  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • State and local governments
  • Employment agencies
  • Labor unions

Can having a GED versus a high school diploma stop me from getting a job?

In the state of Pennsylvania, employers with at least four employees are subject to Pennsylvania’s state laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals who possess a GED versus a high school diploma. Whether or not you have a GED or high school diploma should not be a deciding factor for an employer who as more than 4 employees.

What exactly is “harassment?”

The law defines harassment as unwelcome comments or actions that create a hostile or offensive working environment. While harassment can be based on disability, race, or sexual orientation, the most familiar type is sexual harassment. If you aren’t sure whether your situation qualifies, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer in Pennsylvania to review your case.

If I complain about workplace harassment or discrimination to my employer, will I get into trouble at work?

No, complaining about workplace harassment or discrimination to your employer should not get you into trouble at work. Your employer may not discipline, fire, or take other negative action against you because you complain within the company, to a government agency, or in a lawsuit.

Is it against the law if my employer does not offer any paid leave?

No, it is not against the law if your employer does not offer any paid leave. Many employers voluntarily offer paid leave, like vacation time, sick days, holidays, or paid time off (PTO) benefits. Although a handful of states require employers to give employees paid sick days, neither Pennsylvania nor federal law requires employers to offer paid leave.

Can I take time off from work, without paid leave?

Yes, the law may require employers to offer unpaid leave for reasons such as:

  • Military leave – The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Pennsylvania law both require employers to allow employees to take leave from work for federal or state military service or duty. Employees must be reinstated after their leave, and may not be discriminated against based on their service. In addition, Pennsylvania employers are required to continue an employee’s health insurance benefits for 30 days at no cost while on military leave.
  • Family and medical leave – The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires many employers to give eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off per year for illness and care giving, and sometimes longer. While you are on FMLA leave, your employer must continue your group health benefits. You have the right to your old job when your leave is through.
  • Jury duty – Pennsylvania employers must also allow employees to take off from work for jury service, but it can be unpaid. You cannot be threatened by your employer because you have jury service, nor can you lose seniority or benefits because of your jury service.

What do I do if I feel my place of employment is not safe?

Employees have the right to request an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection if they believe their employer has committed safety violations. It is illegal for employers to fire or otherwise retaliate against employees who complain of unsafe or hazardous working conditions. If you are worried about retaliation, you should speak with an employment lawyer in Pennsylvania to determine the best way to handle your specific situation.

How much is minimum wage in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. Employers must pay the highest minimum wage applicable to employees, whether set by federal, state, or local law. You can even download a helpful form with more information about your rights.

Am I entitled to overtime if I work more than 40 hours in a week?

Pennsylvania law states that Pennsylvania employers must pay employees time and a half if they work more than 40 hours in a week. However, not all employees are entitled to earn overtime. If you fall within an exception to the overtime laws, it may be because you are a salaried manager as defined by the law. You can find out more about Pennsylvania’s wage and overtime rules at the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. You can find out more about the FLSA from the Wage and Hour Division of the Federal Department of Labor.

How can I collect unemployment?

If you are laid off from work or lose your job and it’s not your fault, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. If you are eligible, you will receive a percentage of your previous earnings for 26 weeks. Once you start receiving benefits, you will have to actively search for a new job to continue receiving them. To learn more (or file a claim online), visit the Office of Unemployment Compensation at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. If you have a work injury at the time you are fired, read our article about how unemployment and workers’ compensation interact.

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