Losing your job in Pennsylvania can be devastating. Although it’s an at-will employment state, that doesn’t mean that every reason for termination is lawful. You have legal and company policy protections that put restrictions on your employer, such as a progressive discipline policy. This can help keep terminations legal and ensure they follow the appropriate procedures.
According to The Hartford, “at-will” means your employer may fire you at any time, for any reason. However, if they fire you for unlawful reasons, you may have grounds for a claim.
Recognizing wrongful termination
At-will employment doesn’t mean you don’t have rights as an employee. While an employer can fire you for any reason, there are exceptions to the at-will rule. If you have a verbal agreement with your employer, you may have an implied employment contract. The court looks at various factors such as the duration of your employment, history of positive performance reviews and job promotions. Other wrongful termination acts include:
- Breaches of good faith and fair dealing
- Violation of public policy
Whistleblowing violations occur if you reported unlawful activities by your employer and they took wrongful action by firing you.
Taking action against wrongful termination
Documenting the timeline of events that led to your termination is critical. Write down conversation notes with the dates and those present. Record the names of those, directly and indirectly, involved. This can include your supervisor, their manager, colleagues or clients and their roles in the process. Gather documents, including pay stubs, emails, the company handbook with HR policies, memos and performance reviews. Protect your rights by gathering as much evidence as possible to show your termination was for unlawful reasons.