Civil litigation firm Goldberg Segalla is building its labor and employment bench strength in Pennsylvania with the addition of Angela Cronk, who departed the West Conshohocken office of Burns White one month after she was appointed to co-chair the firm’s labor and employment practice.
Cronk’s addition to Buffalo-based Goldberg Segalla, effective Monday, comes in response to an increase in demand from labor and employment clients operating in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said Caroline J. Berdzik, a member of the firm’s management committee and chair of its 40-lawyer employment and labor group.
“We view Angela as a lynchpin to the continuation of growth in employment and labor at the firm,” Berdzik said, adding that this is the busiest time she has seen in her 25-year labor and employment practice.
“There’s more litigation being filed and there are a lot more challenges that are being provided and presented to clients, and Angela provides an excellent background with her experience to help bolster and build out our Pennsylvania and New Jersey employment and labor practice,” Berdzik added.
For Cronk, moving to a firm with Goldberg Segalla’s national platform allows her to address her clients in multiple geographic markets, she said.
“I felt that this opportunity that came along at Goldberg Segalla could elevate my employment and labor practice to a national level, whereas before it was sort of at a regional level,” Cronk said.
With many clients in the health care industry, Cronk regularly defends institutions against claims involving the American with Disabilities Act, Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
Berdzik said evolving CDC guidelines and health-related requirements have been front-of-mind for the firm’s client base since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that many of these clients are also working with attorneys to update policies to reflect commitments to diversity, inclusion and equity.
On the litigation side, Berdzik noted an increase in race-based discrimination claims and whistleblower complaints under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act. Pennsylvania, once thought as more employer-friendly, has “raised the stakes” for businesses with more requirements and investigations from state agencies, like the state’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“I think this is one of those unique times in the labor and employment world where we’re firing on all cylinders,” Berdzik said. “We’re seeing it on the counseling side and we’re seeing it on the litigation side.”
Berdzik said labor and employment “will continue to be a growth area” at the firm, which she said is in the market to recruit laterals to the group. But since “nothing is finalized,” she declined to provide further information on prospective hiring.
Reached for comment, Burns White CEO Mary-Jo Rebelo said, “Angela has been a valued member of Burns White and will always be part of the Burns White family. We wish her well in her new opportunity.”