HR Law Online Faculty

Professor Joseph S. Hornack
Introduction to the Legal System for Human Resources; Hiring and Firing

Jay HornackJoseph S. (Jay) Hornack is a partner in the Pittsburgh law firm of Healey Block & Hornack and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh.  Jay has concentrated his more than 35-year private law practice in the area of employee rights and benefits.  He primarily represents employees in claims involving workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, private disability insurance, severance benefits, unemployment compensation, employment discrimination, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.  His law firm represents private and public unions in labor-management relations and First Amendment matters.  

Since 1986 he has been the Solicitor handling employment/human resource matters for the Steel Valley Authority, a Pennsylvania municipal authority.  Since 1994 Jay has also served as a contract hearing officer for the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Jay is on the legal committee for the non-profit Disability Rights Pennsylvania, is a prior chair of the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Bar Association’s Law and Disability Committee, and is a frequent lecturer on disability rights matters.  He was included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Since 2004 Jay has taught the law of disability discrimination at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Jay has also taught as an adjunct professor of business, society and ethics at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business since 1994.

Jay graduated in 1981 from Rutgers School of Law, where he won the J. Skelley Wright Prize for contributions to civil rights, civil liberties and human affairs.  He graduated with undergraduate honors from Miami University (Ohio) in 1978.

Professor Jean Novak
Wages, Hours and Benefits

Jean E. Novak, a director at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky, is co-chair of the Employer-Employee Relations practice. She understands the need for practical, business-oriented solutions to labor and employment challenges. Her reputation among her clients and her fellow attorneys has earned her a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Rating AV® Pre-eminent in the field of labor and employment law.

Through years of private and in-house practice, Jean developed a practical, business-based approach to solving problems successfully for a wide-range of clients from heavy manufacturers and hospitals to tech companies and school districts. She has trained managers and owners on a variety of subjects including policy development, discrimination, and talent management trends, and she developed the firm’s seminar series addressing management challenges for successful growing businesses. She has litigated cases in the state and federal courts and represented clients before numerous agencies including the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, the US Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights, the US and Pennsylvania Departments of Education, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

In addition to her administrative and litigation experience, Jean has represented both businesses and executives in a variety of employment matters, including successful resolution of discrimination and overtime disputes. She has also successfully negotiated severance agreements and executive contracts.

As part of her commitment to training tomorrow’s leaders, Jean has served as Distinguished Service Professor (Adjunct) at Duquesne University’s John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business where she has taught Ethical Decision Making. She has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh and at Chatham University.

Prior to attending law school, Jean, who majored in finance undergraduate and graduate, was a tax analyst for the West Virginia Department of Revenue, where one of her duties was tracking domestic and international business trends.

Professor Emily E. Town
Working Conditions

Emily has extensive experience in all aspects of employment litigation including the representation of employees, employers, and labor unions. She has presented on the topics: A View from the Other Side of the Bench: Practical Tips for Effective Employment Law Practice in the Western District of PA, and Same Sex Marriage and LGBT Discrimination in Employment Law: Where are We Now?, and been a contributing author on Employee Benefits Law Third Edition, 2014 Cumulative Supplement and 2013 Cumulative Supplement.

Emily formerly worked as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Arthur J. Schwab, Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She has also been an adjunct professor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Unemployment Compensation Practicum.

Emily earned her B.A. in Justice at American University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and the Western Pennsylvania Employment Lawyers Association (WPELA).

Bar and Court Admissions: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court, District of Western Pennsylvania; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Practice Areas: Labor & Employment; Employment Litigation

Professor Alan M. Pittler
Anti-Discrimination Law

Alan Pittler is a partner with Cozen O’Connor’s labor and employment department.  Mr. Pittler provides practical and insightful counsel to human resources managers, in-house attorneys and executives regarding employee relations and compliance issues.  He also vigorously defends employers’ interests before courts, administrative agencies and labor arbitrators.   

Mr. Pittler represents both private and public sector employers, including those in the fields of higher education, health care, hospitality, technology, manufacturing and energy.  He serves as co-chair of Cozen O'Connor's Higher Education Industry Team. He is also a frequent speaker on workplace legal issues, such as diversity and inclusion initiatives, effective investigations and new legal developments. Mr. Pittler is a member of the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, Society for Human Resources Management, American Bar Association, and Allegheny County Bar Association.

Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor in 2017, Mr. Pittler served as in-house counsel at the University of Pittsburgh, and was a partner with another national law firm. Mr. Pittler received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Education
JD, University of Pittsburgh
BS, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Professor Bobbi Britton Tucker
Anti-Discrimination Law.

Image result for Bobbi Britton TuckerBobbi Britton Tucker practices in Cozen O’Connor’s labor and employment department. Ms. Tucker devotes her practice to representing employers in a wide variety of employment and labor-related matters, and defending employers’ interests before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, and labor arbitrators.  Having worked for 10 years as a professional in the field of Human Resources, Ms. Tucker is able to uniquely understand clients’ needs and issues, and provide both a practical and legal approach to employee and labor relations.  Ms. Tucker also regularly counsels employers and trains managers on a variety of personnel-related issues including anti-discrimination; hiring, evaluating and disciplining/discharging employees; performance coaching and counseling; diversity and inclusion; implicit bias; drafting employee handbooks and employment agreements; non-compete and non-solicitation agreements; and wage and hour compliance.  Additionally, Ms. Tucker works with in-house counsel, human resources managers and executives on implementing proactive employee and labor relations practices, to avoid unnecessary litigation and to develop and sustain a positive and productive team of employees.

Ms. Tucker serves as a co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor and Employment Marketing Committee, and is an active member of Cozen’s Black Attorney Resource Group.  Ms. Tucker is also Treasurer of the Allegheny County Bar Association Labor & Employment Section Council, and member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR).  Much of Ms. Tucker’s pro bono activities are focused on working with the Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Protection from Abuse Project.

Ms. Tucker received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law and received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Professor Pat K. Chew
Selected Topics in Human Resources Law

Professor Chew is the Salmon Chaired Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a University Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award recipient. In addition to Pitt, she has taught at the University of Texas, University of Augsburg (Germany), and the University of California (Hastings). Most recently, she was the Sullivan & Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Her research is diverse, both in subject areas and methodologies. She has written dozens of articles in both general interest and specialized law journals.  She also has authored numerous books, treatises and casebooks in dispute resolution, business laws, and culture and conflict.

Among other leadership roles, Professor Chew was on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) (the Association’s board of directors), the Chair of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education (the largest AALS section), a Council member of the General Practice Division of the American Bar Association (ABA), and a co-founder of the Asian-American Pacific Islander law faculty association. She is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI). Over the years, she has served on many committees and spoken at dozens of programs for the AALS, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), and the ABA.

Prior to teaching, she practiced corporate and international law with Baker & McKenzie in Chicago and in San Francisco.

Among other courses, Professor Chew teaches Employment Law at Pitt Law.

Education
JD, University of Texas
M.Ed, University of Texas
AB, Stanford University

Professor Tara Harper O'Conner
Selected Topics in Human Resources Law 

Jay Hornack

Tara is the Associate Legal Counsel for Labor, Employment and Benefits law for the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. O’Connor provides advice and counsel to the University on faculty, staff and student employment issues. She also provides training to faculty hiring committees on issues of diversity, provides counsel on Title IX appeals for faculty and staff, and offers advice and counsel to the Office of the  Provost, the Office of Human Resources, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UCIS and DRS. Ms. O’Connor also represents the Office of University Counsel on the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee and is active on the policy drafting committees for accessibility in electronic access and the revision of the discrimination policy. After clerking for the Hon. Gary L. Lancaster in the U.S. District Court for the W.D. PA, Ms. O’Connor worked as in house counsel for IBM, American Express, Standard & Poor’s, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Kellogg Company. Ms. O’Connor left industry to join the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee in 2014 and came back home to Pittsburgh to join the staff at the University of Pittsburgh in the Office of Legal counsel in 2017.

Tara is a member of the National Association of University and College Attorneys and has presented seminars at their meetings on leave law, specifically the ADA, FMLA and Workers Compensation. Ms. O’Connor is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Mid West Minority Bar Association and a former board member of PALS (Practicing Attorney’s for Law Students). Tara graduated from Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania Law School and is a member of the Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan bars.

Education
JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School
AB, Princeton University