Employees wrongfully terminated from jobs can start the process of filing a claim against the offending former employer. An unlawful termination in PA violates laws designed to protect the rights of employees. A wrongful dismissal can make an employee’s financial and professional future difficult, but workers can seek reparations in a court of law.
What is a wrongful termination? Wrongful termination in Pennsylvania refers to the dismissal of an employee on grounds that are illegal. Wrongfully terminated workers had their rights violated by an employer. Terminated workers wrongfully fired from jobs should learn about the legal process before attempting to seek compensation in a court of law. For more information on what to do after being wrongfully fired in Pennsylvania, examine the sections below:
- Types of illegal termination in Pennsylvania
- Types of legal termination in Pennsylvania
- At-will employment exceptions in Pennsylvania
- File a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Pennsylvania
- File a lawsuit against your employer in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Unemployment Resources
Types of Illegal Termination in Pennsylvania
Reviewing the types of unlawful terminations from employment can help an employee to know if his or her dismissal was wrongful according to law. The types of illegal termination of employment include discriminatory firing due to an employee’s religion, age, gender or nationality. Additional types of illegal firing in PA occur when employers terminate workers based on their mental or physical disabilities, ethnicity or veteran status.
Retaliatory types of illegal terminations in Pennsylvania occur if an employer fires a worker because they made a legal claim against the company. This may include a formal complaint about the business’s working conditions or an unfair pay claim. When an employer uses one of the aforementioned types of unlawful terminations, the wrongfully fired worker has the right to pursue legal justice. Each one of these types of illegal dismissal of employment violates an employment law sustained by the federal or state government, and former employees can pursue legal charges.
Types of Legal Termination in Pennsylvania
There are types of legal termination of employment that make it permissible for employers to dismiss employees from their jobs. The common types of legal dismissal of employment in PA are when an employer terminates workers at the end of a contract or due to mediocre job performance. Additional legal reasons for terminating employees in Pennsylvania include the indefinite closing of a business or layoffs within a company’s workforce.
Although employees who experience one of these types of legal firing may suffer from financial hardship, there is no cause of action to pursue a legal case against the previous employer. All of these types of legal termination in Pennsylvania are acceptable reasons for dismissal, so employees are ineligible to file claims.
At-Will Employment Exceptions in Pennsylvania
What is employment at will? At-will employment identifies the voluntary working relationship between an employer and employee, which allows either party to end this relationship legally at any time. Is Pennsylvania an at will state? While at will exceptions in Pennsylvania are observed, but the state still recognizes the at-will employment law and practices it accordingly.
The exceptions to at-will employment in the nation include the implied-contract exception that prevents employee terminations if an implicit contract is active as well as the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception, which implores employers to act with good and fair intentions when dealing with employees. However, the at-will employment exception in Pennsylvania currently practiced is the public-policy exception, which disallows employers from firing workers that follow public policy.
File a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Pennsylvania
To file a wrongful termination discrimination charge properly, you will need to submit a claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the illegal incident. When filing a charge of discrimination in Pennsylvania, you may choose to visit the Philadelphia district office to file in person. Employees should start the in-person process for how to file a charge of employment discrimination early (by 10 a.m.) at the office, Monday through Thursday, as it can take several hours to complete. You may also choose to follow the process for how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge by mail or phone. You should use the EEOC online assessment before arriving in person to file a claim, so you can ensure the claim is valid and available for investigation by the agency.
After you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge in PA, the EEOC may first recommend a mediation program between you and your former employer to settle the claim. If this program proves unsuccessful, the EEOC may attempt to settle the claim voluntarily with cooperation from your previous employer. If a voluntary settlement does not conclude in a reasonable period (approximately 10 months), the EEOC may grant you the Notice of Right to Sue the employer.
File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in Pennsylvania
Suing for wrongful termination in Pennsylvania will be your next step in the legal process if the EEOC has granted you this right. When you start the process for how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, keep in mind you will be responsible for providing the court with evidence to support your case. If you are considering filing a wrongful termination claim against an employer, gathering documentation and witness testimonials to prove the illegal dismissal.
Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and receive back pay? To file a lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination successfully, you will need to identify a specific cause of action for your claim by pinpointing the discrimination or retaliation that occurred. When you file a lawsuit against the employer in Pennsylvania, hiring an experienced attorney to assist you in the process is your best chance for restitution of lost wages.