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 crucial 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?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in Pennsylvania. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An Ellwood City employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Pennsylvania Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Ellwood City, Pennsylvania attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.