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Pennsylvania Wrongful Termination

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Pennsylvania wrongful termination lawsuits allege Pennsylvania workers have been fired for illegal reasons. Although Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, there are still situations in which an employee's firing could be considered wrongful termination. In such situations, a Pennsylvania wrongful termination claim may be brought against the employer.

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Pennsylvania At-Will Employment

Pennsylvania employment is generally considered "at-will" employment, meaning either the employer or the employee can terminate the working relationship for any reason or for no reason. This can make a wrongful termination claim difficult to prove, although there are still situations in which the firing could be considered wrongful.

Pennsylvania Wrongful Termination Laws

It is illegal for employers to fire an employee based on protected characteristics, such as the employee's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, citizen status or disability.

It is also illegal for employers to fire employees when the employee is asserting his or her rights. For example, if an employee believes he or she has been the victim of discrimination at work and files a complaint about that discrimination, the employer cannot fire the employee in retaliation.

Employees who have employment contracts may not be considered "at-will" employees. If the firing violates the terms of a written employment agreement, such as terms stating the circumstances under which an employee can be fired, then the employee could file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

Employers cannot fire employees if the firing is a violation of public policy. For example, an employee cannot be fired for refusing to commit a crime while at work, refusing to commit perjury, or for reporting a safety hazard that the employee is legally required to report. Employees also cannot be fired for applying for workers' compensation.

Pennsylvania Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Because Pennsylvania is an "at-will" state, proving wrongful termination can be difficult. Lawsuits have been filed against some employers, however, alleging employee firings were wrongful. One such lawsuit resulted in a $2.4 million settlement between former Harrisburg School District Superintendent Gerald Kohn and the school district. That lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged the termination did not give him due process.

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Published on Sep-5-14


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