The majority of employment relationships in Pennsylvania fall into the category of "at-will" employment. This type of setup means that either employer or the employee is free to end the employment at any time they desire. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has specifically outlined as impermissible to use as a basis for employee termination.
Employment that does not fall into the category of "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions. Therefore, it is important that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract provisions.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Pennsylvania?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a Pennsylvania employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a particular race, nationality, religion or gender. Employers in Allegheny County may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or prompted an investigation into discrimination.
Additionally, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Finally, employers are prevented from firing an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a Pennsylvania Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.