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When can you sue for wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2019 | employee rights |

If your Pennsylvania employer fires you out of the blue one day, it is natural to feel as if he or she wronged you in some way. This is especially the case if your boss gave no specific reason for the termination. You may wonder if you can sue the company for wrongful termination. Unfortunately, the answer is likely no. However, there are a few instances in which you may have the right to sue.

According to FindLaw, almost every worker in the United States is what the law considers an “at-will employee.” At-will employment means that American employers can hire and fire workers at will, and without any justification. The exceptions to at-will employees include government and unionized workers, both of which have the right to due process hearings before their employers can let them go.

Despite at-will employment laws, state and federal laws prevent employers from hiring or firing workers for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. If you suspect the basis of your firing was either in nature, you may have a wrongful termination case.

Discrimination can take many forms, all of which are illegal grounds for termination. If you suspect that your employer let you go because of your gender, race, national origin or religion, you may have a case. The same is true if your employer fired you because of your gender identity or sexual orientation.

If the basis of your termination lies in your disability, your employer is in violation of the law. The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits the termination of a worker based on his or her requests for reasonable accommodations.

Finally, if your termination came shortly after he or she learned of your participation in a protected activity, you may have a wrongful termination case. Protected activities include forming a union, whistleblowing and reporting cases of harassment.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.