Civil Rights & Discrimination

It is our quest as attorneys to help ensure that the doors of opportunity, equality, and justice in the workplace remain wide open for everyone.

Before there was the #MeToo movement, our Firm’s founder, Faye Riva Cohen, built her career litigating workplace civil rights and discrimination cases. Always at the legal forefront, Faye brought to trial, along with her mentor, a legendary Philadelphia civil rights lawyer, some of our nation’s first age discrimination cases.

Years later, the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen proudly continues Faye’s tradition of ensuring opportunity, equality, and justice in the workplace. Our Civil Rights & Discrimination attorneys have successfully handled thousands of cases for employees and employers in a diverse range of legal issues.

Standing Up for Employees

We recognize that losing a job or career can be a devastating life cycle event. That’s why we work tirelessly to ensure that you get a fair, thorough, and meaningful opportunity to assert your rights. Our goal is not only to provide excellent results, but also to give you back your peace of mind, self-respect and reputation, so that you can resume your career path and look ahead to a bright future.

If your dispute involves a formidable employer, we are prepared to act on your behalf.  We pride ourselves on representing “David” clients against “Goliaths” such as large corporations, prestigious educational institutions, government entities, large law firms, and other power players that many law firms may not be willing to oppose. In short, we refuse to be intimidated.

Protecting Employers

For employers, we provide protection in today’s litigious environment.  Employees are becoming increasingly assertive and knowledgeable about their legal rights. We know that you are busy running your business and that workplace problems can sometimes escape your attention until the situation becomes severe. When that happens, you can count on us to effectively handle emergencies and meet imminent deadlines, with the goal of providing built-to-last solutions. Additionally, we provide resolute legal representation in the event that you face a lawsuit or an employee has filed a complaint of discrimination with an administrative agency.

That said, it’s best to be proactive. We are available to counsel you on employee relationships and management, including how to hire, discipline, and terminate employees. We also develop suggested forms, letters, and other necessary documentation, so that you are fully protected in these processes.

We handle a full range of workplace Civil Rights & Discrimination issues including:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)– counseling on employee eligibility for up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for the following reasons: taking medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition; birth and care of the newborn child of an employee; placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • Disability discrimination (ADA)– protecting applicants and employees with a disability, or a history of disability, from being treated unfavorably because of their actual or perceived disability
  • Disability accommodations– ensuring that employees with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations from their employer as required by the ADA so they can do their job
  • Age discrimination– protecting applicants and employees from being treated less favorably because of their age
  • Gender-based discrimination– protecting applicants and employees from being treated unfavorably because of their gender
  • Racial discrimination– protecting applicants and employees from being treated unfavorably because they are of a certain race or have personal characteristics associated with race
  • Sexual harassment– protecting employees from unwanted, inappropriate sexual conduct in the age of #MeToo
  • National origin discrimination– protecting applicants and employees from being treated unfavorably because they are, or appear to be, from a particular country or part of the world, or because of their ethnicity or accent
  • Religious discrimination– protecting applicants and employees from being treated unfavorably because of their religious beliefs
  • Pregnancy discrimination act– protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
  • Hostile work environment– protecting employees from intimidation, bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace
  • Wrongful termination– counseling employees as to their rights under Pennsylvania’s “employment at will” standard, including antidiscrimination and whistleblower protections
  • Conduct outside the workplace– counseling on employee rights, discipline, and termination as they relate to activity outside of work
  • Employer counseling– advising employers on all aspects of workplace civil rights and discrimination, including hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees
  • Social media– protecting the interests of employees and counseling employers on emerging issues involving social media and the workplace
  • Medical marijuana– counseling on emerging issues relating to workplace drug policies and the legalization of medical marijuana

Seeing the “Big Picture”

Civil rights and discrimination issues do not occur in a vacuum. They frequently overlap with other areas of the law, which results in collateral consequences that can stretch far beyond the initial issue presented.

What distinguishes our practice is our strong ability to see the “big picture” and handle all aspects of a matter. Because we can properly analyze cases encompassing multiple practice areas, our clients fully understand their full range of options and can make the best decisions for their circumstances.

Compassionate Attorneys

Our Civil Rights & Discrimination attorneys collaborate closely with clients and inform and guide them through the legal process. We are sensitive, supportive, and compassionate lawyers who want to help you achieve your legal goals and protect your interests from others who pose a threat. Let us help ensure that the doors of opportunity, equality, and justice swing wide open.