Shelly R. Pagac


Phone: (412) 263-4343
Fax: (412) 263-4232

SHELLY R. PAGAC is a partner at Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, where she is the Practice Group Leader for the Employment & Labor Practice Group.

Ms. Pagac has been counseling, training, and defending employers since 1988. Ms. Pagac has successfully defended her clients in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. She has defended cases in all areas of employment law including non-compete agreements, class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and various state tort claims, such as defamation, wrongful discharge and breach of contract. Ms. Pagac has tried a number of cases to verdict, and has been a member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Western Pennsylvania since 2009, which is by invitation only. Ms. Pagac is an approved mediator for the Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Based on professional achievement and peer recognition, Ms. Pagac has been selected in the Top 50: 2015 Pittsburgh Super Lawyers and in the Top 50: 2015 Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. She has also been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2013 through 2018 in the area of Employment Litigation Defense. 

Ms. Pagac was nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Trial Lawyers for a two-year term beginning in 2019. She currently serves on the Board of the Bricolage Theatre for a three-year term from 2018 through 2021. She was the Chair of the Women in Law Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association for 2016-2017. Ms. Pagac is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Judicial Evaluation Committee, Investigative Division. She served on the Board of Directors for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, a victim’s rights organization, from 2008-2014. In addition, she has served on the Board of Governors for the Allegheny County Bar Association from 2006-2011, 2012-2015, and 2016-2017, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association from 2012-2015 as Zone 12 Governor. Ms. Pagac is a fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. She served on Quantum Theatre's Annual Q-Ball Committee in 2015-2017.

In June 2011, the Allegheny County Bar Association awarded Ms. Pagac with the prestigious Philip Werner Amram Award. The award recognizes individuals who personify professional excellence and who have demonstrated substantial commitment to the ideals of the Allegheny County Bar Association and to the betterment of the community. The Women's Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania (WBA) awarded Ms. Pagac with the 2018 Susan B. Anthony Award. This award pays tribute to an individual who most exemplifies the objectives and goals of the WBA by promoting equality in the legal profession. Ms. Pagac also received the Nora Barry Fischer Award for 2014. The Nora Barry Fischer Award serves to recognize an attorney within the Firm who has given back to the legal profession and the community at large.

Speaking Engagements

"An Interactive Study of a Sexual Harassment Case," Pennsylvania Bar Institute Employment Law Institute West 2018, Pittsburgh, PA, November 13, 2018

"Responding to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, April 23, 2018

"Civil Trial Practice in Western Pennsylvania," Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County 19th Annual Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA, April 20, 2018

"Workplace Investigations- Don't Be the Next Headline," Pittsburgh Human Resource Association's Employment Law Day, Pittsburgh, PA, December 1, 2017

"Early Neutral Evaluation: What Works, What Does Not Work," PBI's Employment Law Institute West, Pittsburgh, PA, November 16, 2017

"Issues Arising with Employers & Social Media," Human Resources & Leadership Symposium's 9th Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, April 18, 2017

"Drafting an Enforceable Non-Compete Agreement," PBI's Employment Law Institute West, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17, 2016

"Career and Leadership Planning," Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, Bedford, PA, November 11, 2016

"The Art of Achievement," ACBA Women in the Law 4th Annual Women's Legal Summit, Pittsburgh, PA, August 17, 2016

"Employment Law Workshop for Non-Profits," Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Pittsburgh, PA, January 28, 2016

"What You Should Be Considering When Using Social Networking Sites in the Hiring Process," Human Resources Association of the Alleghenies, Johnstown, PA, November 4, 2015

"Dealing with the Problem Employee," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, September 24, 2015

“What Can We Learn About Mediation From the 'Game of Thrones',”  Pittsburgh Human Resource Association, Pittsburgh, PA, September 9, 2015

"The World of Employment Practices Claims: Sex, Lies & Religion. What's Next?" Professional Liability Attorney Network ("PLAN") Regional Meeting, Chicago, IL, July 29, 2015

"Responding to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct: A Legal Update for Employers, Educators, and Health Care Providers," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, July 21, 2015

"Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, July 10, 2015

"FMLA Updates," 10th Annual Employment Seminar, Sponsored by the Erie County Human Relations Commission, Erie, PA, June 25, 2015

"Reasonable Accommodation for Religious Reasons Webinar," Pittsburgh Human Resource Association (PHRA), March 26, 2015

"Ethically Speaking: Keeping Up With Social Media and Other Technology Impacting Your Practice (ETHICS)," PBA Midyear Meeting in Jamaica, January 2015

"Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Reasons," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Employment Law Institute West, November 13, 2014

"Employment Law Nightmares: What's Keeping You Up at Night?" PLAN Regional Meeting: Hartford '14, October 23, 2014

"What You Should Be Considering When Using Social Networking Sites In The Hiring Process?," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Social Media: Do Employers "Like" What Their Employees Are Doing Online, August 29, 2014

"Metadata Mysteries Unveiled - Nothing 'Foren'-tured, Nothing Gained," ACBA Federal Courts Section, Trial Lawyers, and FBA, January 24, 2014 

"Business Litigation in the Federal Courts," Academy of Trial Lawyer's Program, December 2013

"When Can an Employer Terminate an Employee for Comments Made on a Social Networking Site – Is Calling the Employee’s Supervisor a “Jerk” Enough?," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Employment Law Institute West, November 2013

 “Dealing with the Problem Employee," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, September 2013

“Law Firm Economics,” Duquesne Law School, August 2013 

“Employment Law: Risk Management Survival Guide,” PNC Park, July 2012

 "Breakfast With The Judges," Moderator, Allegheny County Bar Association's 50th Golden Anniversary Bench-Bar Conference, June 2012

"From Ho, Ho, Ho to No, No, No." Western PA Human Resource Association, December 2012

“Managers Under Fire: How to Evaluate and Discipline Employees n a Union or Non-Union Workplace,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Employment Law Institute West 2011, November 2011

“What If I Were Managing Partner…,” Moderator, Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, June 2011

“Employment Law Trends,” Chartis Claims Advisory Board, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2011

“Avoiding Discovery Traps that Can Derail Your Case,” Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, June 2010

“Managing Performance Issues,” Ohio Ambulance Medical Transportation Association Annual Preconference, June 2010

“During Employment – Addressing the Problem,” Dealing With the Problem Employee, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar, June 2010

"Handling the Sexual Harassment Case," Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar, February 2010

"Pink Slips: The Impact of Reductions in Force on Diversity," Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, June 2008

"How to Write and Implement Effective Personnel Manuals," Automatic Data Processing Seminar, Pittsburgh, Pa., June 2000

"Hiring and Firing," Automatic Data Processing Seminar, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 2000

"Enforcing Covenants Not to Compete," Scottsdale, Az., March 2000

Shelly  R. Pagac Portrait







U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Pennsylvania


J.D., The Catholic University of America, 1988

B.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1985


Gale v. UPMC Horizon, Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-00617 (W.D. Pa. October 7, 2013)
(sexual harassment and retaliation)

Hall and McCombs v. Guardsmark, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-00213 (W.D. Pa. September 11, 2013)
(Fair Labor Standards Act)

Murphy v. Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. d/b/a Stat Medevac, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-01512 (W.D. Pa. May 8, 2013)
(age discrimination)

Ma v. Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-00970 (W.D. Pa. April 26, 2013)
(religion, sex and retaliation)

Mufti v. Aarsand & Co., C.A. 08-314 (W.D. Pa. October 22, 2009)
(race harassment)

Adams v. Alcoa, No. 2:02-CV-146 (E.D. Tn., September 19, 2002)

Bell v. Tifton Aluminum Co., Inc. and Sizemore Inc., No. 2003-CV-1031 (Super. Ct. Ga., December 15, 2005)
(premises liability)

Gomer v. Alumax Mill Products, No. 5:01CV233 (E.D. Tex., August 5, 2003)
(race discrimination)

LeGrande v. Alcoa, 1:05CV00376 (M.D. N.C., May 16, 2007)
(race discrimination)

McDermott v. Cont. Midland, Inc., No. 02 C 8063 (N.D. Ill., June 13, 2003)
(breach of contract based on employee handbook and defamation)

McMillan v. Alcoa and United Steelworkers of America, No. 3:02-CV-523 (E.D. Tn., January 28, 2003)
(labor management relation).

Mockobee v. Alcoa, EV 02-78-C-Y/H (S.D. Ind., August 25, 2003)
(race discrimination)

Sauseda v. Alcoa, No. V-01-20 (S.D. Tex., June 23, 2003)
(sex discrimination and harassment)

Singley v. Cordant Technologies, Inc., No. 1:00cv153 DB (D. Utah, August 19, 2002)
(disability discrimination)