Protecting Employee Rights in Wrongful Termination Cases
At the Harrisburg law firm of McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C., our attorneys work with people who may have lost their jobs through unlawful actions on the part of their former employers. To learn whether you might have the legal right to recover damages for wrongful termination under Pennsylvania, federal or local law, contact our office for a free consultation.
Even At-Will Employees Can Sue for Wrongful Termination
Many of our clients express surprise when they learn that they are employees at will under state law, which generally means that they can quit at any time and get fired at any time. There are several important exceptions to the employment-at-will rule, however.
What these exceptions boil down to is the general rule that an employer can fire an employee for no particular reason, but cannot discharge an employee for a reason that is prohibited under state or federal law. Our lawyers investigate and analyze the facts of each client's situation to find out whether the employer violated any recognized employee rights in planning and carrying out the termination.
In our experience, there is often a big difference between the official reasons supporting the decision to fire an employee and the real reasons. Our ability to shed light on the actual decision-making process behind the discharge can lead to positive results for our clients.
Here are some of the prohibited reasons for getting rid of an employee that can lead to settlement or verdict for wrongful termination damages:
- Discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex or another protected classification
- Discrimination on the basis of disability, pregnancy, recent maternity, family medical issues or similar grounds
- In some Pennsylvania cities, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
- Retaliation for reporting certain types of unlawful conduct on the part of an executive or supervisor
- Retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim or taking advantage of another protected right
- Retaliation for complaining about discrimination, sexual harassment or other violations of workplace rights
- Retaliation for cooperating with an investigation into illegal activity at the company
- Retaliation for supporting the discrimination or harassment complaint of a coworker
- Termination in breach of a written contract of employment, or under circumstances that create a continuing contract of employment
As attorneys experienced with the investigation and presentation of wrongful discharge claims, we know how to focus on the facts that can establish your case. We also know how to expose the difference between the stated justification for a firing and the actual reasons, which are often very different.
Call 866-716-2315 or 717-260-3646 for an Employment Attorney's Advice
To discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable employment attorney, contact the Harrisburg law firm of McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C., for a free and confidential consultation.
Larry Weisberg is the contributing author to this content.