If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination claim against your employer. Individuals who are wrongfully terminated can suffer various losses, including lost wages, backpay, lost benefits, and mental anguish. Here is a closer look at wrongful termination in Pennsylvania and how to get your claim underway.
What To Do If You Were Wrongfully Terminated In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, which means that unless you have an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, your employer can fire you from your job at any time without cause. However, if you were fired from work for illegal reasons, such as racial discrimination or sexual discrimination or because you were a whistleblower who reported illegal activity, you are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, age – if 40 and older, sex, national origin, non-job-related disabilities, known association with a disabled person, possession of a diploma based on passing a GED test, or the willingness or refusal to participate in sterilization or abortion.
Breaching an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or discriminating against a worker for specific reasons, such as sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, or so forth, is illegal. Despite the state being an at-will employment state, there are illegal terminations from employment, and you can pursue a claim against your place of employment if you are facing such challenges.
Suing For Wrongful Termination In Pennsylvania
If you were wrongfully terminated in Pennsylvania, you must provide proof of the situation. This will include your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, your employment handbook, documentation that shows any discrimination or harassment, and your documentation showing that you were terminated from your job.
If you are filing through the state agency because you were terminated because of a discriminatory act, you would file your claim with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). You can file your claim with the federal agency, which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal agency have a work-sharing agreement, which means you can file a claim with one agency and ask them to share the details with the other agency so they can both address the issue at the same time.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act covers businesses with as few as 4 workers, while the federal law applies to employers who have 15 or more workers. The size of your place of employment may play a role in determining which agency you should file your claim with.
Getting Your Claim Underway
If you have been wrongfully terminated in Pennsylvania, consult with a wrongful termination attorney. Be sure to discuss payment options because some lawyers take cases on a contingency basis while others ask for a retainer to be paid upfront and then charge an hourly rate. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today because time is of the essence, and you should act promptly.