Ms. Bennett is a trusted counselor to business owners and management for a broad range of labor and employment issues. Her counseling practice involves advice on independent contractor/employee determinations, workplace policies, wage-and-hour requirements, compensation and pay equity, employee discipline and discharge issues, leave laws, workplace accommodations, reductions in force, restrictive covenants, and diversity initiatives. She also has extensive experience conducting internal investigations.
Throughout her career, Ms. Bennett has advised companies on equal employment opportunity and affirmative action obligations under federal and state laws and regulations. Working with companies subject to Executive Order 11246, Ms. Bennett advises federal contractors on best practices in recruiting, interviewing and hiring; compensation practices; development of policy and procedures; and discrimination testing. She advises clients in the preparation and management of affirmative action programs and represents clients in U.S. Department of Labor compliance evaluations.
Ms. Bennett maintains an active litigation practice. She represents organizations in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. She also represents clients in court litigation in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and in other jurisdictions by special admission.
Awards & Recognitions
- Listed in The Best Lawyers of America for Employment Law – Management, 2018-2023; and Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2020-2023*
- Recognized among “Local Litigation Stars” and “Labor & Employment Stars – Northeast” for Pennsylvania in Benchmark Litigation, 2019-2021*
- Most Powerful & Influential Woman Award, 2016, National Diversity Council*
- President’s Award for Leadership & Service, 2016, American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity
- President’s Award for Leadership & Service, 2012, American Association for Affirmative Action
*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Discrimination, Leave, Retaliation Litigation
- As lead trial counsel, obtained directed verdict for public school system on reasonable accommodation claim under Americans With Disabilities Act and a termination claim under Family and Medical Leave Act..
- As lead trial counsel, obtained defense verdict for public school system on ADA retaliation claim.
- Served as lead trial counsel for a national franchise owner-operator in Title VII gender harassment case, resulting in successful post-trial motion granting judgment in favor of defendant.
- Obtained summary judgment in religious discrimination case for behavioral health provider.
- Obtained defense verdict for regional transportation authority in lawsuit alleging race discrimination and retaliation.
- Served as lead counsel for a Fortune 10 company in wage-and-hour collective and class action litigation.
- Served as lead counsel for regional transportation authority in a trilogy of wage-and-hour collective actions.
As lead trial counsel, obtained a jury verdict in a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction for a public school system on claims alleging breach of contract and promissory estoppel theories related to employee pension benefits.
Successfully defended hospital in three nurse discharge arbitrations applying just-cause standard.
Law is Jo’s second career. In her first, she was an editor at major metropolitan daily newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Miami Herald.