Joyce L. Collier
Joyce Collier serves as counsel in the firm’s Employment Law, Civil Rights and Complex Litigation practice groups. Ms. Collier has thirty years of experience as a trial lawyer in state and federal court in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Her passion is in fighting for low-wage workers who have been denied the most basic workplace protections. Co-counseling with Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg, she successfully represented a group of experienced female cocktail servers who were fired from a New Jersey casino because they did not fit the stereotype the casino was looking for to fit into skimpy new uniforms. In another matter, the team took on a nationally known slaughterhouse that fired a group of workers after they complained about injuries they suffered while working on high-speed production lines. Along with Ms. Allred, Ms. Collier also represented some of the women who were harassed by Bill Cosby.
In 2018 Ms. Collier successfully litigated a matter involving a Filipino worker who suffered harassment and abuse inside a battery manufacturing plant. She also represented the head of human resources of a large university who was terminated after eighteen years of loyal service, a cancer survivor who was the only employee terminated during a purported layoff, and a woman who was fired in violation of the FMLA while she was in treatment for alcoholism. She has been able to defeat summary judgment in numerous employment cases pending in state and federal court through meticulous case analysis.
Collier’s commitment to social justice is also exemplified by her representation of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania in Washington v. DPW, No. 50 MAP 2016, in which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down Act 80 of 2012 because it violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. Act 80 eliminated a cash assistance program that provided a minimal income support for individuals with serious disabilities, people fleeing domestic violence, and individuals in active drug treatment for limited periods of time.
Collier graduated with high honors in 1988 from Rutgers School of Law after receiving the Most Promising Civil Litigator Award and the Stratton Moot Court Award. After serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Clifford of the New Jersey Supreme Court, she began her litigation career as an associate at the firm of Hangley Connolly Epstein Chicco Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia. She became a shareholder in 1995 and co-chaired the Employment Department. During her time there, she litigated numerous environmental disputes, including a landmark decision holding the federal government liable as an operator and arranger under CERCLA as a result of the government’s extensive involvement with a high tenacity rayon facility during WWII. FMC v. Department of Commerce, 29 F.3d 933 (3d Cir.1994).
Collier served as an adjunct law professor at Rutgers School of Law Camden, teaching Disability Law. For the last twenty years, she has actively served the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, located at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, as a board member, executive director and now as a volunteer.
Ms. Collier is committed to learning the most innovative trial skills. She attended the nationally acclaimed Trial Lawyer’s College in Dubois Wyoming, directed by Gerry Spence and the Ethos of Advocacy Program taught by Rick Friedman. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Advocacy of Temple University School of Law.
Areas of Practice
- Pennsylvania State University, B.A. (1983)
- Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., High Honors (1988)
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine 2011-2018
- AVVO Rating 10
- Graduate and Active Alumni, Trial Lawyer’s College, Dubois, Wyoming
- Fellow, Academy of Advocacy, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Attendee, Ethos of Advocacy, Bremerton, Washington
- White Hat Award, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- American Bar Association
- National Employment Lawyers Association, Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey
- Federal Practice Committee, Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Montgomery County Bar Association
- Employment Law Advisor, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Board Member, Centre Theatre, Norristown, Pennsylvania
- Speaker, American Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law, Seventh Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana: “The Complex Interplay Between Alcoholism and the ADAAA: When is an Alcoholic a Qualified Individual with a Disability? From A Plaintiff’s Perspective.” (November 2013).
- Speaker, PBI, Annual Employment Law Seminar: “Discovery in Employment Cases.” (June 2011)
- Speaker, PBI, Annual Employment Law Seminar: “Ten Great Tips for Taking Depositions in Employment Cases.” (June 2009)
- Speaker, PBI: “Using Forensic Psychological Evidence in Employment Cases.” (December 2005)
- Speaker, PBI: “Mental Disabilities and the ADA.” (November 2005)
- Speaker, PBI: “Keys to Winning ADA Cases for the Plaintiff.” (October 2003)
- Speaker, PBI, “Defamation in Employment.” (November 2001)
- Speaker, PBI: “Damages in Employment Cases: the Non-Economic Remedies.” (June 1998)
- Settlement of age and gender discrimination case against New Jersey casino on behalf of twelve cocktail servers who were terminated because they Settlement of national origin discrimination, retaliation and wage and hour case on behalf of nine workers against meat processing plant and third-party sanitation contractor on behalf of eight former sanitation workers who were fired after they protested illegal working conditions. Case involved allegations that joint defendants failed to pay overtime, donning and doffing wages, rounded down of time, misclassified workers and committed wage theft.
- Settlement of disability discrimination and retaliation case on behalf of seven workers against meat processing plant who fired workers after they suffered workplace injuries on high-speed production lines.
- Obtained recovery for Filipino worker of a manufacturing plant who, after he complained of national origin discrimination and harassment, was sent to EAP provider who issued report to plant urging it to correct harassment and later deleted recommendation at the request of director of HR for battery plant.
- Settlement of race, gender, ADA and age lawsuit on director of human resources for large university with unblemished record and twenty-year career.
- Recovery for assistant manager of fast food franchise who was fired before his 65th birthday after fourteen-year employment history in which he started out as a cook after immigrating to America.
- Successfully defended horse groomer before the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission after he was wrongly charged with violating Pennsylvania Code.
- Conducted investigations and designed extensive employment and compliance policies and programs for nationally recognized rehabilitation hospital.
- Litigated numerous environmental disputes, including four year representation of FMC Corporation in landmark decision holding the government liable as an operator and arranger under CERCLA as a result of the government’s extensive involvement with facility during WWII. FMC v. Department of Commerce, 29 F.3d 833, 38 ERC 1889, 63 USLW 2038 (3d Cir.1994).
- Obtained favorable settlement of matter against United States on behalf of several subsequent owners of chemical plant in Pittsburgh by establishing government liability as owner and operator of plant during World War II and Korean War.
- Successfully represented international toy corporation in copyright infringement case by locating key document that demonstrated that plaintiff had fabricated entire lawsuit
- Obtained summary judgment for insurance company in New Jersey environmental insurance action on duty to defend issues.
- Participated in all aspects of several lawsuits involving performance and payment bonds for construction projects.