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AWARDS: $2,350,000 award to automobile accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – double criminal homicide • $1,000,000 award to motorcycle accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – criminal homicide • $465,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal – criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person, neglect of a care dependent person • $325,000 federal jury verdict, UIM and insurance bad faith award to automobile accident plaintiffs • jury acquittal – attempted criminal homicide • $300,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal- attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon • $300,000 award to automobile accident/ products liability plaintiffs • jury acquittal – homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle DUI, aggravate assault by vehicle • $115,000 award to truck accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – murder, rape • $100,000 non-jury trial verdict to facial laceration plaintiff • jury acquittal – 1st degree Murder (capital case) • $90,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI, terroristic threats, carrying firearms without a license • $440,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property • $135,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWI) • $636,000 jury verdict in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice case • jury acquittal – indecent assault, indecent exposure • $550,000 award in plaintiffs’ personal injury case • juvenile case acquittal- solicitation to commit aggravated assault, aggravated assault of unborn child • $250,000 award to mass transit accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy • $130,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiffs • court-appointed appellate counsel – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversal of rape conviction • $465,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – aggravated assault • $125,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of armed robbery charges • $170,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • successful jury verdict in defense of attorney charged with legal malpractice in professional liability case • $140,000 award to injured bicyclist plaintiff • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of 2 counts of criminal homicide • $180,000 award to employment discrimination plaintiff • jury acquittal – indecent exposure • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to paternal grandparents over natural mother • juvenile decertification petition granted to criminal homicide charges – release at age 21 • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • jury acquittal – DUI • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to mother • $50,000 jury verdict for plaintiff- passenger in automobile accident case • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • hung jury – Arson trial (no criminal punishment imposed) • $265,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – delivery of a controlled substance • $125,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • $190,000 award to products liability plaintiff • $150,000 award to premises liability/construction accident plaintiff • $750,000 award to prison medical malpractice and civil rights violation plaintiff • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • $108,500 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $80,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $150,000 award to truck accident plaintiffs.

Employment Discrimination

Pennsylvania Employment Discrimination Attorneys

work-discrimination

Federal and State statutes prohibit discrimination against an employee due to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, ancestry and/or use of a guide dog or support animal. These statutes further prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee for opposing discriminatory practices or for participating in an investigation of discriminatory practices.

Since 1977, Charles Law Offices has successfully represented employees who have been the victims of discrimination. Conversely, the attorneys at Charles Law Offices have successfully defended employers who have been falsely charged with discriminating against employees. The following are the types of unlawful discriminatory practices  that the attorneys at Charles Law Offices have zealously opposed and successfully litigated on behalf of their clients:

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE AND/OR SEX

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 forbid discrimination due to race or sex and prohibit employers from condoning, acquiescing to, adopting or participating in a racially or sexually hostile working environment. For example, Charles Law Offices successfully prosecuted a claim of racial discrimination and a racially hostile working environment against a municipality that permitted a supervisor to display a Ku Klux Klan hood, Ku Klux Klan literature, a statute/bust of Adolph Hitler and to burn the Puerto Rican flag.  Further, Charles Law Offices has successfully prosecuted and defended claims of sex discrimination/sexually hostile working environment, including a claim against an employer who condoned a supervisor’s sexually assaultive behavior against one or more female employees.

If you have been repeatedly subjected to inappropriate racially or sexually based comments, jokes or insults or if you have been subjected to racially or sexually offensive photographs, posters, figurines and other literature, you may be the victim of a racially or sexually hostile working environment. Moreover, if you have been deprived of promotions, equal pay or other work-related benefits due to your race or sex, you may have a claim of racial or sexual discrimination against your employer. The attorneys at Charles Law Offices have successfully prosecuted employees’ claims of racial and sexual discrimination, including claims of racially and/or sexually hostile working environments.

 

If you believe that you have been discriminated against due to your race or sex, contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

AGE DISCRIMINATION

Both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibit discrimination against an employee based on age. Our courts apply the same analysis to age discrimination claims under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In order to establish a prima facia case of age discrimination, an individual must show that he or she:

  1. was a member of the protected class, i.e., was forty years of age or older;
  2. was discharged;
  3. was qualified for the job or benefit in question; and
  4. was replaced by a sufficiently younger person to create an inference of age discrimination.

In addressing the issue of “substantially younger,” the Courts have determined that an eight (8) year difference between the individual fired and his or her replacement was “substantially younger” to permit an inference of age discrimination. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act further prohibits any individuals from aiding and abetting employment discrimination under the Act and protects employees, age forty (40) and over, from discrimination in all facets of employment.

If you are forty (40) years of age and older, qualified to do your work and have been subjected to disparate (unequal) treatment, an adverse employment action or replacement by a substantially younger employee, you may have a claim of age discrimination against your employer. Furthermore, if you have been retaliated against for objecting to an employer’s discriminatory practices due to age or if you have participated in an investigation of age-related discriminatory practices, you may have a claim of age discrimination against your employer.

 

If you believe that you have been the victim of age discrimination, contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

Budgetary and Reduction in Force (RIF) Defenses in Age Discrimination Cases

Employers often cite budgetary and reduction in force (RIF) defenses as justifications for terminating employees who are age forty (40) and over. An employee who has been subjected to an adverse employment action may challenge these defenses by showing that he or she was subjected to an impermissible double standard and that substantially younger employees were treated better or dealt with less harshly than employees age forty (40) and over. An employee who was subjected to an adverse employment action may challenge an employer’s cost efficiency, budgetary/efficiency or reduction in force (RIF) defenses by:

  1. directly or circumstantially discrediting each defense; or
  2. producing circumstantial or direct evidence that discrimination was more likely than not a motivating or determining cause in the adverse employment action.

An employee may demonstrate weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, incoherencies or contradictions for an employer’s proffered reason for its action. By doing so the employee may allow a judge or jury or fact finder to conclude that the employer’s reasons were unworthy of belief and that the employer’s action was for discriminatory reasons.

 

Reduction in Force (RIF)

In order to assert a Reduction In Force (RIF) defense, an employer must do so on the basis of a sound, business-related reason, and the criteria upon which an employee may be laid off or terminated must be carefully defined and not related to the employee’s age. An employee may defeat a Reduction In Force (RIF) defense by producing evidence to show that the employer intended to discriminate based on age. An employee may further challenge this defense by showing that an employer favored younger employees over older employees by finding positions for the younger employees in other departments. If an employee is able to identify substantially younger employees who were subjected to the reduction in force and who obtained alternate positions for which the older employee was qualified, the employee may prevail on his or her claim of age discrimination.

 

Charles Law Offices has prosecuted claims of discrimination based on age and challenged the improper attempt by employers to assert a Budgetary or Reduction In Force (RIF) Defense. If you have been denied a promotion, demoted, laid off, deprived of an employment opportunity, terminated and/or subjected to any adverse and unwelcome employment action due to your age (age forty and over), contact the attorneys at the Charles Law Offices.

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee or prospective employee on the basis of disability. Both acts mandate that an employer make every effort to assist or accommodate an employee to work notwithstanding the employee’s disability. Under both acts, an employer is mandated to engage in an “interactive process” in order to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee and to assist the employee’s performance of his or her job responsibilities despite his or her disability. Charles Law Offices has prosecuted claims of discrimination involving disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), mental disorder/illness, depression, panic attacks, severe migraine headaches, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, acute stress disorder, and physical injuries, including fractured pelvis, herniated discs and Raynaud’s Disease.

If you suffer from a recognized disability and have been denied a promotion, demoted, laid off, denied a reasonable accommodation, terminated or otherwise subjected to an adverse employment action on the basis of your disability, contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that an employer provide an eligible employee certain rights, including unpaid leave during any twelve (12) month period. Said leave may be utilized by the employee for the health care of a family member, such as a parent, spouse, child or for the health care of the employee. If an employee meets the Act’s requirements, the employer must provide that employee the same or equivalent position, pay and benefits upon his or her return to work as he or she had at the time that leave was taken under the Act.

If you have been denied your request for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or if you have been denied a promotion, demoted, laid off, deprived of an employment opportunity, terminated and/or subjected to any adverse and unwelcome employment action for exercising your right to benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), contact the attorneys at the Charles Law Offices.

RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

The applicable statutes and case law, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee based upon the employee’s religious affiliation. Moreover, an employee may not be discriminated against for wearing religious medals, necklaces, bracelets or religious garb. Nor may an employer discriminate against an employee for requesting time to observe religious holidays.

If you have been ordered to remove any religious medals, necklaces, bracelets or religious garb, denied the opportunity to observe a religious holiday or have been denied a promotion, demoted, laid off, deprived of an employment opportunity, terminated and/or subjected to any adverse and unwelcome employment action for exercising your religious affiliation, contact the attorneys at the Charles Law Offices.

RETALIATION

Federal Law - Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for opposing any practice made unlawful by Title VII or for making a charge, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under Title VII. These prohibitions are referred to as “the opposition clause” and “the participation clause.” To constitute protected activity for the employee, the conduct complained of need not actually be unlawful so long as at the time of the opposition the employee had a good faith and objectively reasonable belief that the activity that he/she opposed was unlawful. Statements made by an employee during an employer’s internal investigation also may constitute protected activity under Title VII.

A plaintiff, in a retaliation case, must prove:

  1. he/she engaged in protected employment activity;
  1. the employer took an adverse employment action after or contemporaneously with the protected activity; and
  1. a causal link exists between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.

A causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action may be inferred from “an unusually suggestive” proximity between the two, an intervening pattern of antagonism following the protected conduct, or as a result of the proffered evidence examined as a whole.

Pennsylvania Law - Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA)

In addition to the above-described mandates of Title VII, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because said employee had opposed acts of discrimination or participated in proceedings challenging the employer’s discriminatory work practices. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act makes it unlawful:

  • For any person, employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate in any manner against any individual because such individual has opposed any practice forbidden by the Act, or because such individual has made a charge, testified or assisted in any manner, in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under the Act.

 

  • For any person, employer, employment agency, labor organization or employee to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any act declared by the Act to be an unlawful discriminatory practice.

Retaliation claims and the relevant “opposition” or “participation” clauses apply equally to unlawful conduct under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and Title VII. An employee asserting an unlawful retaliation for his or her opposition to discriminatory practices or participation in any investigation, need not prove that the underlying conduct was unlawful under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

 

If you, or a family member or friend, have been the subject of employment discrimination or retaliation for opposing an employer’s discriminatory practice or participating in an investigation of an employer’s discriminatory practice, contact the lawyers at Charles Law Offices.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

Facing employment discrimination? Contact us now.

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"Attorney Dennis Charles does not give up on his clients with difficult problems. His exemplary and successful defense of an unfortunate teenager charged with double criminal homicide impressed me the most. Attorney Charles has excellent trial skills, a tremendous work ethic and very high moral values."

Farhad Sholevar, M.D. | Board Certified Psychiatrist

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A Family History of Devotion to
Law and Public Service

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.

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