At-will employment does not mean anything goes

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2019 | Firm News

Pennsylvania is an at-will state. This means that your employer can terminate you without providing reasons or giving you notice. Businesses can also change the terms of your employment, including wages and benefits without letting you know in advance. Although it may seem like the company may hold all the cards, there are some instances in which termination is against the law. At Samuel J. Cordes, we often assist clients whose termination was unlawful. 

According to Mighty Recruiter, employers may be liable when they engage in any of several activities. 

When you enter into a written contract with a business, it is no longer “at-will.” Instead, the contract terms apply. If employment terminates in a way that violates the agreement, you may have been wrongfully terminated.  

If you made a claim against your employer, they cannot legally fire you. They also cannot release you if you refuse to commit adhere to an activity or policy that results in committing a crime. Firing employees based on discrimination of any kind leaves organizations open to the possibility of a lawsuit. Wrongful termination discrimination includes the following examples: 

  • Age, race, sex
  • Religion/National origin
  • Color
  • Medical condition
  • Disability
  • Polygraph test refusal

Employers must adhere to state and federal wrongful termination laws including breach of contract, retaliation and discrimination. If you believe you lost your job as a result of wrongful termination, consulting with an experienced employment attorney can help you understand your options. He or she can determine if the violation carries statutory penalties and whether the employer may have to pay punitive damages. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.