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Wrongful Termination
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Pennsylvania Wrongful Termination

Even in an at-will employment state such as Pennsylvania, there are instances where it's illegal or unlawful for an employer to fire or lay off a worker. If you think you've been the victim of a wrongful dismissal (also known as a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge), talk to an employment lawyer or wrongful termination attorney immediately.

There are several types of wrongful dismissals, or instances where a company cannot legally end the employee-employer relationship. These include:

  • When an employer is making the decision to terminate an employee based on discriminatory reasons or if the employee is being terminated in retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint. Under federal and Pennsylvania laws, it is illegal for a company to discriminate against workers on the basis of gender, age (if the worker is at least 40), religion, disability, pregnancy, race, skin color and/or national origin.
  • If the employee has a written or implied employment contract and is terminated in violation of that contract.
  • If the employee is terminated in retaliation for exercising a right granted by law, such as reporting for jury duty or filing a workers' compensation claim. (This is known as the public policy exception to the doctrine of at-will employment.)
  • If the worker is terminated because the company will soon owe the employee money, known as the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "Examples of bad faith terminations include an employer firing an older employee to avoid paying retirement benefits or terminating a salesman just before a large commission on a completed sale is payable. There have been relatively few cases in which employers were found liable under an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing theory."

Filing a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Different types of wrongful terminations will need to be addressed in different ways.

For example, discrimination victims have 180 days from the date the discriminatory act occurred to file a complaint of discrimination with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you're terminated in violation of an employment contract, you'll have a longer period of time to file a breach of contract lawsuit against your former employer in civil court.

A wrongful termination lawyer can review the facts in your case, explain your legal options and then guide you to a resolution, including a wrongful termination lawsuit, if appropriate.

Find & Hire Local Pennsylvania Wrongful Termination Attorneys

Call at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page for help locating wrongful termination lawyers and employment attorneys across Pennsylvania, including in Erie, Allentown, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. After you answer a few simple questions, our free lawyer referral service will quickly match you with a local lawyer.