Unemployment and Wrongful Termination
Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, which means that a company can generally terminate an employee for little to no reason. The most common reasons given for termination are:
- rule violations
- attitude toward employer
- being a disruptive influence
- damage to equipment or property
- unsatisfactory work performance
- drug or alcohol violations.
Sometimes, however, employees are terminated for an unlawful reason, or in an unlawful way. It’s in cases like these where Pennsylvania has laws designed to protect the rights of employees.
In general, at-will employees are protected from termination due to: age, race, sex, religion, disability, for taking qualified medical leave, for objecting to a polygraph as a condition of employment, for serving on a jury, for fulfilling military service if employed by the military, and for merely having a criminal conviction. In addition, it is usually illegal to terminate or punish an employee for seeking worker’s compensation or unemployment compensation, for reporting safety violations in the workplace, or for refusing to engage in criminal activity.
An employee who has a contract with an employer may initiate a wrongful termination case if the employee feels that the termination was in breach of the contract. Even in cases without contracts, employee handbooks and other employment documents may demonstrate employment rights that have been violated.
In cases where the termination was justified under the law, employees can sometimes seek unemployment compensation.
Employees who believe they have been wrongfully terminated from jobs should contact us to start the process of filing a claim against the offending former employer. A wrongful termination can make an employee’s financial and professional future difficult, but workers can seek reparations in a court of law.
In meeting with an attorney, it is important to bring all employment-related paperwork to the meeting, including performance evaluations and any other communications related to job performance, employee handbooks, or anything else that applies to your case. If your employment has been terminated and you intend to file a wrongful termination claim, or file a claim for unemployment, contact us today to discuss your case.