Statewide Employment Law Project

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Statewide Employment Law Project directs funding to local legal aid providers in the network in order to staff specific employment-related legal assistance across the state. The project also provides statewide support, networking and training to the participating programs and advocates.

Every participating program across the state has dedicated specific staff to work on the project. The work of the project encompasses a range of employment related matters. The exact mix of types of matters and cases handled by each member program depends on the needs of the local communities and clients.

The following are the substantive areas that are typically included in the work of the local legal aid providers:

  1. Job preservation cases. These include avoidance of termination for medical leave, child support garnishment issues, or the correction of criminal record errors.
  2. Barriers to employment. These cases include problems with occupational licenses, non-compete agreements, criminal records or unfounded child abuse allegations.
  3. Access to income streams related to employment. Problems in this category include pensions and employer provided disability benefits.
  4. Wage cases. Issues addressed include failure to receive last paycheck and other issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  5. Cases involving the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.
  6. Unemployment Compensation Benefit cases.
  7. Discrimination in employment cases. These cases include filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Americans with Disability Act issues, and language discrimination issues.
  8. Advice on “at will” discharges.

In addition to this direct service, the participating programs have also engaged in outreach and community education activities. These activities are designed to both educate the public and various social service agencies serving affected individuals on these issues, and to get the word out that legal assistance is available.

Individuals seeking legal assistance should consult our Legal Help Finder for the name of the legal aid provider serving their community.

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