THE EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS GROUP, LLC, is a law firm devoted entirely to protecting the employment rights of our clients and advocating for them in solving their employment-related problems in the full range of employment issues ( workplace discrimination – race, age, sex, sexual harassment, disability; wage and hour – overtime, bonuses, commissions; whistleblower; benefits, etc.). Since its founding in 1994 the firm, through its founder, Joseph H. Chivers, Esquire, and the lawyers who have collaborated with him, have focused on assisting employees – from hourly workers to salaried managers and executives – in understanding their employment rights and taking full advantage of the remedies available to them under the law. In light of the inherently disproportionate power and monetary resources held by the employer, especially in the context of the traditional principle of employment-at-will that is still followed in the United States, The Employment Rights Group, LLC, provides the knowledge and resources necessary to level the playing field for the individual employee.
Developing Legal Strategies that Work
We believe firmly in matching the solution to the problem and taking only the action that is necessary, if any, to resolve the problem relating to our clients’ employment rights. Our strategies fall into three broad categories:
CONSULTATION – As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The first step in effective action is to understand the problem, and the legal implications of the problem. Frequently a consultation, normally over the phone and with no charge, is sufficient to determine whether there are any employment rights that are implicated, whether there are any effective strategies and, in many situations, whether the employee can resolve the problem on his/her own.
INTERVENTION – When a consultation is not sufficient, and when we and our clients agree it is appropriate for us to become actively involved with the employer, we take whatever action is necessary short of litigation (phone calls, writing letters, gathering information, filing a non-public charge of discrimination with the responsible federal or state agency, negotiating a deal with the employer) to resolve the problem affecting our clients’ employment rights. Our experience over the decades is that many problems – even complex ones - can be resolved quickly and discretely, without any public disclosure, and this is often the preferred method for our clients. We typically charge a contingent fee for these services based on what we are able to obtain for our clients.
LITIGATION – There are times where litigation to protect our clients’ employment rights is not only unavoidable but preferred. We are careful informing our clients of the implications of any litigation (normally in federal court or in arbitration) to make sure our clients understand the risks and rewards. Litigation is an inherently uncertain process given the fact the ultimate decision-maker is either the judge or the jury, and can be time-consuming and expensive. Once our firm commits to such litigation, though, we are all in. We will take whatever action is required, including making the investment necessary to bring the litigation to a successful conclusion, and will do so at no out-of-pocket costs to our clients. This includes fees (contingent fees) and costs.
While litigation can be time-consuming, the reality in America is that only 2% or 3% of the civil cases filed in federal court or arbitration ultimately result in a jury or arbitration trial. Instead, the majority of cases are resolved early on in the litigation process through what is called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADRs normally occur within about six months, frequently sooner, following filing of the complaint. We have found over the years that the most effective way to protect our client’s employment rights and achieve positive results for our clients is to take an aggressive, proactive approach to the ADR: we do whatever is necessary in gathering documentary information, interviewing witnesses and analyzing relevant data (especially important in the digital era with so much information available in electronic form) to make the ADR as effective as possible. Our track record speaks for itself: we are able to effectuate satisfactory resolutions for our clients in well over 75% of the cases during the ADR process. And for those cases that can’t be resolved during the ADR we have already advanced the cases early on to such an extent that the remainder of the litigation can be prosecuted far more efficiently and effectively.
Acting Quickly for Clients
There is a famous saying to the effect that “justice delayed is justice denied.” We are proud of our emphasis over the years in moving as quickly as reasonably possible for our clients with the recognition that our clients are normally in situations where they need immediate answers to their questions about their employment rights and prompt resolution of whatever circumstances they find themselves in. We are, therefore, as responsive as we reasonably can be in making sure that clients understand their employment rights and options and, in turn, acting to develop and implement the best solutions. This includes solutions on the full range of employment law matters such as discrimination, harassment, compensation like overtime wages and commissions, employee benefits and FMLA.
Individual Cases and Class Action Cases
We handle the full range of individual as well as collective/class action cases related to employment rights. As illustrated in more detail below, our firm has actively pursued both individual and collective/class actions in federal and state courts for more than 25 years. Many of the collective/class action cases have involved obtaining unpaid overtime for a broad spectrum of workers: truck drivers; oil and gas workers; restaurant staff; delivery workers; retail store assistant managers; hospital staff ( nurses, LPNs ); mortgage consultants; auto service technicians, etc.. The companies we have pursued these claims against include some of the largest employers in the country: Walmart; Wells Fargo; Kraft Foods; Pepsi; Oil States Energy; Chase Bank; Petco, etc.. This is not the kind of work that most law firms can handle effectively: it takes time, experience, and special expertise. The Employment Rights Group, LLC, and its lawyers – including the highly experienced lawyers both within the Employment Rights Group, LLC, and the lawyers we have collaborated with in pursuing some of these cases – have a unique combination of skill and expertise that allow us to prosecute these actions efficiently and successfully.
Collaboration with Outside Law Firms
The Employment Rights Group, LLC, believes in working with other law firms as necessary to maximize the results for our clients. We have had a long history of working with some of the finest law firms in the country in this area of the law. This includes firms from across the country in places like New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Spokane, Washington, and San Francisco, California. Our emphasis is to bring together the finest talent and resources available to protect our client’s employment rights and resolve their claims. The added bonus for our clients is that our collaboration with these firms costs our clients nothing: the contingent fee remains the same.
Team With our Clients
We believe effective advocacy depends upon teamwork with our clients. Our clients have the factual knowledge necessary to identify their employment rights and pursue their claims and, more than anything, the personal stake in the claims that give them the ultimate ownership of how these claims can best be resolved. We make it clear from the beginning of our representation, therefore, that we depend on our clients to work with us effectively as a team: we depend upon them for their candor and knowledge and commitment to their claims and, in turn, provide them the best advice and advocacy we can. At the end of the day, though, it is our clients’ decision how best to resolve their claims.
We understand the dilemma facing the majority of individuals: traditional legal representation is simply too expensive to afford. Our solution in the vast majority of our cases is the contingent fee. We accept the risk, and costs, associated with protecting our clients’ employment rights so that our clients can pursue legitimate claims without fear of the employer, and its lawyers, burying our clients in costs. This means, though, that we are scrupulous about carefully analyzing our clients’ claims from the very first contact we have with them, and explaining in detail to our clients the inherent risks in legal action. Once we conclude the claims are worth pursuing, and making sure our clients understand the inherent risks, though, we will almost always proceed on strictly a contingent fee basis. Where the risks are unusually high, or where our chief role is advisory or advocacy short of litigation, we may require a retainer. These situations are unusual, and in such unusual situations we fully explore the appropriate retainer with our clients to assure the retainer is mutually acceptable.
Our firm is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but we have represented clients throughout the country in protecting their employment rights and have litigated cases in federal court in jurisdictions as far apart as New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Washington State and California. Where representation requires the retention of local counsel we have worked with some of the most prominent Plaintiffs’ firms in the country, and done so without any additional cost to our clients. The objective wherever our clients are, and whatever collaboration is required with other counsel, is always the same: produce the most satisfactory, and prompt, results for our clients.
Areas of Employment Law
Our firm covers the full range of employment rights, including:
Overtime wages (Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)/PA Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) and comparable wage laws in other states)
Sex discrimination (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
Age discrimination (ADEA)
Race discrimination (Title VII/42 U.S.C. 1981)
Disability discrimination (The Americans with Disabilities Act/ The Rehabilitation Act)
Sexual Harassment (Title VII/Title IX)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Bonuses, commissions, incentives
Executive compensation (salary, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing)
Employee benefits (ERISA – COBRA, Short and Long Term Disability, health benefits, pension benefits)
Am I Protected Against Retaliation by My Employer if I Complain about Discrimination or Not Being Paid What I am Owed?
YES, both federal and state law protect people who complain – either verbally or in writing or by filing a formal legal action - about discrimination or about not being paid what they are owed. This includes protection against harassment, discipline or termination. The Employment Rights Group, LLC, has and will take whatever actions are necessary to protect our clients who are exercising their employment rights against any such retaliation
Representative Cases of the Employment Rights Group, LLC
We have been in business for over 27 years and, needless to say, have represented literally thousands of employees over the full range of employment rights. Many of the issues we handle for our clients can be and are resolved discretely without taking any formal legal action and certainly without filing a complaint in federal or state court. When filing a formal legal action is necessary, though, we can and will do whatever is necessary to resolve our clients’ claims all the way through trial. Over the past ten or so years this is particularly true for what is commonly referred to as “wage and hour” cases (i.e., cases where our clients are not paid the proper amount in regular wages or overtime wages).
Some examples of the successful wage and hour lawsuits in which The Employment Rights Group, LLC, has been class counsel for Plaintiffs include: Dunkel v. Warrior Energy Services, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-695-MRH (W.D. Pa.); Imhoff v. Weatherford International, LLC, et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-679-AJS (W.D. Pa.); Black v. Wise Intervention Services, Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-453-MPK (W.D. Pa.); Haught v. Summit Resources, LLC, Case No. 1:15-cv-069-JEJ (M.D. Pa.); Naicker v. Warrior Energy Services, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-1140-MRH (W.D. Pa.); Tvrdovsky v. Renegade Wireline Services (RWLS), Case No. 2:13-cv-1463 (W.D. Pa.); Dull v. Integrated Production Services, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-1437-NBF (W.D. Pa.); Bastin v. Integrated Production Services, Inc., Case No. 2:15-882-NBF (W.D. Pa.); Sweeney v. Altoona Regional Health System, Case No. 2012-GN-2364 (Ct. of Com. Pl. of Blair Cnty.); Foster v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Case No. 2:09-cv-453 (W.D. Pa.); Pennybaker v. Nat’l Health Mgmt., Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-1428 (W.D. Pa.); McEliece v. Pepsi Beverages Co., Case No. 2:12-cv-460 (W.D. Pa.); Smith v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon Corp., Case No. 2:10-cv-678 (W.D. Pa.); Granatire v. Am. Expediting Co., Case No. 2:10-cv-564 (W.D. Pa.); Stanislaw v. Erie Indem. Co., Case No. 1:07-cv-1078 (W.D. Pa.); Boyington v. Percheron Field Services, LLC, No. 3:14-00090 KRG (W.D. Pa.); Hunt v. McKesson Corporation, Case No. 2:16-cv-01834 MRH (W.D. Pa.); Ringler v. Norwin Technologies, Case No. 2:17-cv-00423 AJS (W.D. Pa.); and, Lanning v. Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Case No. 2:18-cv-00247 AJS (W.D. Pa.). Some examples of successful wage and hour lawsuits in which I have represented individual Plaintiffs include Mozingo, et al. v. Oil States Energy Services, L.L.C., Case No. 2:15-cv-00529 MAK (W.D. Pa.) and Swank, et al. v. Walmart Stores, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-01185 MRH (W.D. Pa.).
Contact an Employment Lawyer
You can contact our law firm via email or call The Employment Rights Group, LLC, toll free at 800-508-5367. ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.