Mariah L. Passarelli focuses her practice on a variety of labor and employment law matters, from employment contracts to complex litigation. Mariah handles matters in administrative proceedings, state, and federal courts. She has represented employers in claims under Title IX, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, PHRA, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, NLRA, FCRA and OSHA, and she has defended universities, hospitals and oil and gas companies in state-wide class and collective actions.
Mariah also counsels companies on litigation avoidance, anti-discrimination, and anti-bullying and she reviews and drafts employee handbooks and personnel policies. Her experience related to higher education extends to both public and private colleges and universities.
During the course of her practice, Mariah has defended a state university in a large and complex class-action Title IX sports equity lawsuit and provided extensive training on sports equity compliance to a number of universities.
She has represented universities in employment litigation where claimants raised claims of employment discrimination/harassment under both Title IX and Title VII. Her case work also includes representation of a university in federal litigation involving claims of sexual abuse brought by a student related to conduct by a professor. In the area of Title IX and sexual violence complaints, Mariah has conducted third-party investigations from inception to hearing.
She has represented a university in responding to multiple complaints filed with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, has advised universities on Title IX compliance in anticipation of federal court litigation, has developed university Title IX/Sexual Violence policies and standard operating procedures, has provided extensive Title IX/Sexual Violence employee training to Responsible Persons, Investigators and Hearing Panelists, and has presented at conferences on the subject of Title IX/Sexual Violence compliance, training and investigation topics.
Her work in this regard has included both large and small institutions in Pennsylvania and Florida. Prior to joining the firm, Mariah was member and co-chair of the Higher Education Industry team at a national law firm. Before that, she served as deputy attorney general in the Civil Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
During that time she represented the members of the State System of Higher Education located in the Western District of Pennsylvania in all aspects of employment law defense for more than four years. This work involved the full panoply of employment law claims – age discrimination, race discrimination, disability discrimination, sexual harassment, etc. – including obtaining a successful defense verdict, as solo counsel, in a trial defending a university in an age and disability discrimination case.
During her tenure in the Attorney General’s Office, Mariah also handled more than 175 federal and state court cases on behalf of commonwealth agencies in employment law and constitutional civil rights matters involving Title VII, Title IX, ADA, Rehab Act, ADEA, PHRA, federal and state Whistle Blower acts and § 1983.
She obtained defense verdicts as single-chair trial counsel in multiple federal and state jury and bench trials and acted as co-counsel in complex Title IX litigation. In 2014, Mariah became the youngest attorney ever selected for admission into the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. Mariah earned her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law.
While in law school, Mariah was a contributor to the Duquesne Law Criminal Procedure Journal, research assistant to professor Bruce A. Antkowiak, a participant in Trial Advocacy Competitions and student manager of the Criminal Law Clinic. She went on to earn her Masters in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
- Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 2005
- Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, M.A., 2009
- Duquesne University, B.A., 2002
BAR ADMISSIONS : Pennsylvania
COURT ADMISSIONS :
- U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, 2014-Present
- Women’s Bar Association of Western PA, executive board member 2007-Present; co-president 2012-Present
- Allegheny County Bar Association, Bench Bar Committee; Young Lawyers Division; Women in the Law Division; Federal Court Section; Labor and Employment Section
- American Inns of Court, Barrister
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Community Living and Support Services (CLASS), former board member
- Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Inc., Board of Directors
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