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 not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to learn the classification of your work setup. 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?
In the state of Pennsylvania, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are prohibited from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. Philadelphia 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.
Additionally, the Family and Medical leave act prohibits employers from firing employees for having taken leave for family or medical reasons. 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?
In Philadelphia, 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 collecting the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.