In Pennsylvania, employers are allowed to terminate an employee at any time and for any reason as long as it is not illegal. If an employer fires someone for discriminatory reasons, the termination is considered wrongful. Employees have rights and can not simply be terminated because of discrimination. However, at the same time, an employee must be able to show that the termination was done because of discrimination and not for other reasons.
Both state and federal laws are in place to protect employees against discriminatory practices. The Human Rights Act of 1964 provides all people with protection against discrimination. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act provides similar protections and is overseen by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, also provides protections in discrimination cases. An employee may file a claim against the appropriate agency or may request that more than one agency work together on the case. If the company employs more than 15 people, then it is covered by federal protection laws. Claims against smaller companies can be handled through state agencies.
Discrimination may be based on any one of a variety of reasons, including:
- National Origin
- Veteran Status
- Sexual Orientation
An employer cannot discriminate against an employee for any reason. The employer must treat all employees fairly and equally. If an employer takes part in discriminatory actions, they could be held accountable under the law. Depending on the action and the circumstances, a wrongful termination may be covered under state or federal laws.
Wrongful termination can be the culmination of a hostile workplace. A person should not be bullied, harassed, or discriminated against in any way including wrongful termination. Discrimination may make it difficult to perform your work duties, and if it occurs, you should report it immediately.
Unfortunately, sometimes an employee is terminated for discriminatory reasons. If so, the employee has rights. A discrimination claim may be filed and legal action may be taken. Discrimination matters can be complicated. Employees need to provide documentation and proof that they were the target of discriminatory practices.
It is helpful to discuss the situation as soon as possible with a qualified employment attorney. Your lawyer will review the issues of the case and determine the best way to proceed. Your lawyer may negotiate to try to resolve the matter or it may go to court.
How an Employment Attorney Will Help
If you feel you have been discriminated against, you should document everything that occurred including dates, times, and names of those who were present. Witnesses may be necessary to provide testimony about the events that occurred. These types of matters are not taken lightly and they will be thoroughly investigated.
Your attorney will fight to protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly. If you have been wrongfully terminated due to discriminatory actions by your employer, contact HKM Employment Attorneys, today to learn how we can help champion your case.