Thomas C. Zipfel brings Elliott Greenleaf’s clients throughout Pennsylvania considerable legal and business experience as a result oriented decision maker in the public and private sector. Tom’s public service as Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry included supervising approximately 60 lawyers throughout Pennsylvania on labor law compliance, wage and hour enforcement, workers compensation, unemployment compensation, occupational and industrial safety, and workforce development. In 2014, he argued a precedent setting case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concerning unemployment compensation benefits.
Prior to his public service at the Department of Labor & Industry, Tom was involved in a variety of significant matters as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Tom Corbett, including a Title VI discrimination claim against a state university, and a multi-million matter on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, involving Medicaid’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments. Tom is very experienced concerning the legal and administrative issues affecting all branches of Pennsylvania state government, and their interrelationships with the federal government.
For more than five years, Tom served as General Counsel and Human Resources Director for a large construction company, where he successfully handled diverse and significant legal issues, including environmental, labor, human resources, and litigation, including a prevailing wage lawsuit that prevented a multi-million dollar potential debarment. He was also responsible for oversight of all legal, operational, insurance and human resources matters.
In prior private practice, as a partner in a Philadelphia law firm, Tom represented employers before local, state, and federal courts and administrative agencies (EEOC, PHRC), in employment and wrongful discharge cases. He also represented clients in various legal matters, including wage and hour issues, and the National Labor Relations Board matters.
The Philadelphia Business Journal recognized Tom as a “40 Under 40” Awardee, recognizing him as one of Pennsylvania’s top lawyers. He was also named a Pennsylvania Rising Star in Labor and Employment, and Law and Politics.
Tom received his B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University in 1992, and graduated from Widener University School of Law in 1995. He served as a law clerk for Chief Administrative Law Judge Carl Summerson at the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Tom is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Long active in civic and community initiatives in Montgomery County, Tom is the President of the Hatfield Township Board of Commissioners, a child advocate with the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia (having won the Distinguished Advocate of the Year in 2010), and a coach for youth athletic basketball and baseball teams. He resides in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County with his wife and children.