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employment

Conrad O’Brien’s attorneys represent individuals, publicly traded and private employers, and county, state and local municipalities in state and federal employment claims of sexual harassment, age, disability, pregnancy, race and sex discrimination, as well claims of retaliation and wrongful termination/constructive discharge.  Besides serving our clients as litigation counsel in administrative, federal and state proceedings, we actively and routinely advise organizations and public entities, as well as their executives and employees, on employment-related practices and policies designed to avoid lawsuits.  We draft, revise and update employee handbooks, employment agreements, severance agreements, restrictive covenants, hiring and reduction-in-force-guidelines, and other personnel-related documents.  We develop and present training programs for human resources personnel, managers and executives on anti-harassment, benefits, and hiring/termination issues.  Conrad O’Brien’s attorneys also conduct internal employment investigations for public and private corporations, as well as county, state, and local municipalities, agencies and institutions. 

Although Conrad O’Brien has handled high-publicity employment discrimination trials involving major Pennsylvania law firms, its attorneys also skillfully and confidentially negotiate favorable settlements and dismissals for individuals and corporations in employment discrimination matters.  

Our engagements include the following: 

  • Conrad O’Brien represented a major North American food manufacturer in an employee’s suit for its alleged failure to accommodate physical disabilities.  We were engaged late in the proceedings, after the Third Circuit had already reversed the district court’s entry of summary judgment for the defendant and the district court had set the case for trial.  We promptly engaged in additional discovery and uncovered important new information.  We used the new information as the bases for a renewed motion for summary judgment that prompted settlement negotiations.  The case settled shortly thereafter without the need for a trial.
  • When a Fortune 500 company was sued by an employee who claimed that a workplace investigation invaded his privacy, Conrad O’Brien attorneys helped to establish a new principle under Pennsylvania law that benefits all employers.  In the case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that invasion of privacy claims arising out of a workplace investigation are preempted by Pennsylvania’s Workers Compensation Act.
  • Conrad O’Brien’s attorneys handled matters for a regional healthcare and long-term-care provider, as well as an aviation corporation and its executives, in claims involving alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, employment agreements, and employment discrimination laws. 
  • Conrad O’Brien is counsel for a privately-owned orthopedics medical device company.  During the company’s start-up phase, it sought experienced candidates from within the industry and became the target for its larger competitors in a series of lawsuits filed against the company arising out of its hiring practices.  We have not only defended the company in such litigation, but we trained the company’s human resources personnel and sales force managers to evaluate more completely the restrictive covenants to which their employment candidates were subject.  The result was that litigation over the company’s hiring practices dropped dramatically after the first year of the company’s operations. 
  • In a highly publicized sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a female attorney, Conrad O’Brien was chosen to represent the international law firm that she sued.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reported daily on the sensational allegations of the case as it was tried in front of a Philadelphia jury.  After a several week trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for the law firm involved. 
  • In one of the first AIDS discrimination cases in the nation ever tried before a jury, Conrad O’Brien, led by its founder William O’Brien, defended a Philadelphia law firm sued by one of its associates for AIDS discrimination.  The case was covered by CourtTV and was similar to the depiction of the trial presented in the movie Philadelphia.
  • Representing a regional company in a sexual harassment/constructive discharge matter, after completion of discovery Conrad O’Brien achieved a full withdrawal, with prejudice, of all claims by the plaintiff-former employee.  The plaintiff had sought millions of dollars in damages at the beginning of the case.
  • Conrad O’Brien represented a large national law firm in a sexual harassment case in which it achieved a settlement without any payment by the law firm and without publicity surrounding the case.  Similarly, we represented a prominent Philadelphia law firm in an alleged constructive discharge and whistleblower suit and were able to litigate and settle the matter with no publicity.
  • Conrad O’Brien’s Chester County office represents municipal clients as solicitors in connection with labor and employment issues, providing guidance regarding personnel handbooks, anti-harassment, benefits, municipal pension fund issues, and hiring/termination issues, and working closely with insurance defense counsel in employment discrimination matters.  We negotiate collective bargaining agreements and represent municipal employers in connection with employee grievances filed pursuant to the agreements.