Jennifer Craighead chairs the firm's Employment Law group and concentrates her practice in the areas of labor and employment law as well as school law.
In the area of employment law, Jennifer serves as both a counselor and a litigator. In her litigation role, Jennifer has handled cases at both the administrative level and in state and federal court. Jennifer regularly practices before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as administrative agencies throughout the country, handling all manner of discrimination and retaliation claims. Jennifer routinely handles litigation in the Federal District Courts in both the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. Jennifer has obtained summary judgment and successful verdicts on behalf of her employer clients in numerous cases involving discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In addition to defending discrimination cases involving sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, Veteran's or military leave status, and other legally protected classes, Jennifer has also handled litigation for employers both at the administrative level and in state and federal courts involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Executive Order 11246, the False Claims Act, the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and comparable state and local ordinances.
In her role as employment counselor, Jennifer regularly provides advice to employers on a myriad of employment issues, including counseling on performance and conduct related issues, reasonable accommodation obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FMLA compliance and management, sexual and other harassment, workplace violence, and many other issues. Jennifer has worked with clients in investigations involving harassment, misappropriation of funds and other areas of misconduct, including conducting investigations of executive and high level management employees. Jennifer also has expertise in Executive Order 11246 to include affirmative action compliance for government contractors and handling OFCCP audits. Jennifer works with government contractors on hiring and compensation audits and drafting and reviewing affirmative action plans. Jennifer also has experience in assisting employers with claims involving unemployment compensation and workers' compensation and frequently counsels clients on the interplay between the ADA, FMLA, and workers' compensation. In addition, Jennifer reviews personnel policies for employers and has reviewed hundreds of employee handbooks for legal compliance.
Jennifer believes in a strategy of prevention for her employer clients, and in this role not only provides counseling and investigation services to employers, but also conducts a variety of on-site, workplace training in the areas of sexual and other harassment prevention, diversity, documentation strategies in the context of discipline and discharge as well as performance evaluations, FMLA/ADA/workers' compensation interplay and management, workplace violence, union avoidance strategies for managers and supervisors, and the nuts and bolts of workplace management to prevent litigation. Jennifer is accustomed to conducting training at all levels to include employees, supervisors and managers, and executives and directors.
In her role as labor attorney, Jennifer has handled numerous labor arbitrations both in the public and private sector. In addition, she has handled labor negotiations for unionized employers, including Act 111 negotiations in in the public employer arena. Jennifer also counsels public employers on issues unique to the Heart and Lung Act and has successfully handled numerous civil service and grievance arbitrations involving termination of Heart and Lung Act benefits. Jennifer has also represented employers before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Board.
Jennifer also provides representation to universities and colleges on labor and employment matters, affirmative action compliance, student discipline, sexual assault and other sensitive issues, and on compliance with the Family Educations Rights and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA). Jennifer regularly presents on FERPA issues, including the interplay between FERPA and HIPPA. In addition, Jennifer counsels schools on issues related to Title IX compliance and student accommodation requests under the ADA. She is also a past presenter for the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) on FMLA and ADA matters unique to school districts.
Jennifer represents clients of all sizes and in all industries and is well versed in issues unique to manufacturing and the service sector and provides employment law expertise and litigation management services to a national retailer. In addition, she regularly represents hospitals, long term care facilities, and other health care institutions in employment issues unique to those settings, including issues related to the Older Adult Protective Services Act, credentialing and staff privileges, and medication diversion, among other issues. Jennifer is also labor and employment counsel to municipalities and school districts throughout Pennsylvania.