Pennsylvania is considered an “at-will employment” state. This means that employers and employees can terminate their employment at any time and for any reason. However, a firing must still be done legally. Although employers may terminate an employee, they must do so in accordance with state and federal laws and public policy.
If you were fired, you could have a legal case against your employer if you were wrongfully terminated. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer violates state, federal or local laws, violates a contract, or violates public policy. When a wrongful termination occurs but does not fall under the categories of discrimination or retaliation, it may be a violation of public policy.
Understanding Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy
The courts use many factors when deciding cases. Violation of public policy generally means that although a particular act may not be specifically covered by the law, it has been upheld by courts in the past. For example, the courts have found in past cases that an employee who was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim is protected based on a violation of public policy.
In order to prevail in a case of wrongful termination in violation of public policy in Pennsylvania, you must prove several facts. First, you must be able to show that you took part in a protected activity. Next, you must show that your termination occurred immediately following your participation. Finally, you must be able to show that your termination was specifically linked to your participation in the activity. In other words, the company must have done something wrong by terminating you.
Some activities are considered protected. This means that if an employee takes part in one of these activities, he or she is protected against retaliation by the employer. Protected activities include such things as filing a claim against an employer, filing a workers’ comp claim, or simply talking about filing a claim for a violation.
Protections take effect as soon as you file a claim or when the company is made aware that you are taking part in a complaint. You may be protected even before you file a claim if the company finds out that you were talking about filing an action. An employment attorney will evaluate the situation and determine whether a wrongful termination has taken place. If so, your lawyer will work hard to protect your rights and favorably resolve the case.
What to do if You Were Wrongfully Terminated
If you were wrongfully terminated you have rights. An experienced Pennsylvania employment attorney will review your case and help determine how to proceed. You may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, benefits, and other damages. Your lawyer will need to gather documentation to prove that your employer fired you due to a violation of public policy.
The legal team at HKM Employment Attorneys is highly skilled in these particular types of cases. We have the knowledge and expertise to resolve your case and get you a fair resolution. We understand the many complexities that these cases have and will work to powerfully protect your rights. Contact us today at HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule a consultation today.