Can I Be Fired for No Reason in Pennsylvania?
Being fired from a job is never an enjoyable experience. If you feel you were fired without cause it can make the experience even more traumatic. The first question that may come to your mind is “ Can I be fired for no reason in Pennsylvania ? ” Unfortunately, the answer to that question, as a general rule, is “yes”; however, there are some important exceptions to the general rule of which you should be aware.
Like most states in the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an “employment at will” state. Simply put, this means that under most circumstances an employer can terminate your employment for any reasons at all – or for no reason at all. The three most common exceptions to this general rule are when there is an employment contract in place, when the discharge violates public policy, or when the underlying cause of the termination violates a state or federal law.
If you entered into an employment contract with your employer the terms of your contract will govern all aspects of your employment with the employer, including the conditions under which you can be terminated. Typically, an employment contract will dictate the reasons why an employee may be terminated, or at the very least will include procedures that must be followed before an employee is terminated.
You may also have the basis for legal action if your termination constitutes a “public policy wrongful discharge.” In essence, this means that your discharge was so inherently wrong that it violates a clearly mandated public policy found in the constitution, judicial decisions, legislation, or administrative regulations. Examples of public policy wrongful discharges include, but are not limited to, the following:
·Firing an employee because the employee refused to be complicit in an illegal act.
·Firing an employee for making a Workers’ Compensation claim.
·Firing an employee after the employee reported an OSHA violation.
·Firing an employee because the employee refused to serve a visibly intoxicated patron.
Finally, your employer cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons. Numerous state and federal laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace. For example, your employer cannot fire you because of your race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, or for any other reason protected by state or federal law.
If you believe you have been wrongfully discharged you may have the basis for legal action against your employer. Contact an experienced Conshohocken, Pennsylvania employment law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the employment law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.