Charles Law Offices has successfully prosecuted claims involving the right to freedom of speech on matters of public concern. Several of these cases involved the rights of police officers who spoke as citizens on matters of public concern and were retaliated against by their municipalities. Several cases were successfully appealed through the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, while others were successfully resolved at the District Court level.
The attorneys at Charles Law Offices have successfully prosecuted claims wherein employees were retaliated against by their employers for filing legal actions ranging from lawsuits, petitions, grievances, appeals and for participating in the arbitration process. They have successfully prosecuted matters wherein employees were retaliated against by their employers for giving testimony at a deposition, grievance hearing, grievance appeal and during the arbitration process. One such case was prosecuted in the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals and a favorable Opinion was obtained from Court of Appeals Justice Samuel Alito, who later was appointed as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The attorneys at the Charles Law Offices have successfully prosecuted claims involving First Amendment protected political affiliation, wherein employees were refused a promotion, demoted or terminated due to their political affiliation, support of or refusal to support a particular political candidate. They have successfully prosecuted political affiliation claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, its Governor, elected officials and supervisors. They have successfully prosecuted political affiliation claims at the county, city and borough level and have effectively established municipal liability for each claim. One such claim was resolved pursuant to a successful appeal to the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals while another political affiliation claim resulted in one of the highest employment discrimination settlements in the history of the municipality.
The First Amendment provides protection against retaliation for public employees who speak on matters of public concern. A matter is one of public concern if it relates to “broad social or policy issues” or “the way in which a government office serves the public.” To establish a First Amendment claim against a public employer, an employee must establish that:
Once an employee establishes that his speech was made outside of his job duties and on a matter of public concern, his or her speech is protected under the First Amendment.
Our Federal Courts have further acknowledged the Constitutional protections attendant to an individual’s right to petition the government for the redress of grievances and the right of access to the Court. The United States Supreme Court has required restraint on the part of federal courts in enjoining lawsuits and has held that the filing of a lawsuit carries significant constitutional protections implicating the First Amendment right to petition the government for the redress of grievances and the right of access to our courts. The Supreme Court has further determined that an employee’s rights under the First Amendment Petition Clause be granted the same protection and be analyzed under the same standard as free speech cases.
In addition to protecting an individual’s right to freedom of speech, to file a lawsuit and/or to testify at depositions, hearings, arbitrations and trials, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to freedom of political affiliation. In order to successfully prosecute a First Amendment political affiliation claim, an individual must establish that:
The attorneys at Charles Law Offices have successfully prosecuted claims wherein:
In each of the above instances, the attorneys at Charles Law Offices were able to successfully secure promotions or monetary awards/settlements on behalf of the individuals who had suffered discrimination due to their political affiliation and/or political activity.
Pursuant to the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution an individual may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that in circumstances where a person’s good name, reputation, honor or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him or her, notice of allegations and an opportunity to be heard must be given to the individual in order to provide the person an opportunity to clear his or her name. In order to state a deprivation of reputation claim, an individual must establish that:
The Fourteenth Amendment further insures an individual’s liberty interest in procedural due process concerning violations of his or her liberty and property interest sufficient to allow the individual to proceed with a cause of action for any violation of his or her due process rights. As a result, the government may be held responsible for any action which damaged an individual’s good name, reputation, honor and integrity and his or her legitimate claim of entitlement to pursue a chosen profession.
Charles Law Offices has successfully prosecuted claims under the Fourteenth Amendment involving the right to procedural and substantive due process. Several claims involved an employer’s circulating false, defamatory and stigmatizing information against an employee without affording the employee a procedural opportunity to be heard and to clear his or her name. Other claims involved an employer’s refusal to afford an employee a full and proper hearing prior to depriving the employee of his or her property rights. Other claims involved the employer’s improper deprivation of due process to employees concerning their liberty interest in their names and their rights to pursue their chosen profession. In each case, the attorneys at Charles Law Offices have held the government accountable for due process violations and have secured promotions, monetary settlements and/or relief on behalf of individuals who have been subjected to violations of their procedural and due process rights.
The Charles Brothers’ devotion to the law is derived from a family history in the legal system and of service to others. Their father, Charles “Chink” Charles (depicted in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph) held a 35 year career in law enforcement, and was selected to serve as the personal bodyguard for former United States Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson during their campaign visits to Allentown.