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 arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is important that you know how your work setup is classified. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination can only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
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 certain race, nationality, religion or gender. Delaware County employers are further prohibited from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Also, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. 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?
In Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a lawyer will be able to notify you about whether you are a victim of wrongful termination, and they will be able to guide you in preparing the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.