What is wrongful termination?

What is wrongful termination?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2020 | Employment Law, Wrongful Termination |

For employees, it can be easy to feel as though termination from employment was unjust. After all, you probably put a lot of time and effort into your work. And for employers, navigating your rights as a manager or business owner may be a confusing task.

Determining whether a termination falls under “wrongful termination” will vary depending on where you live. Pennsylvania is an at-will state in which employers may terminate an employee’s job for any reason or no reason.

So, if an employer can fire for any reason, does that mean there is no such thing as wrongful termination in Pennsylvania? That is not the case. Wrongful termination may occur if the employer terminated an employee for illegal or otherwise unjust reasons.

When is a termination illegal or unjust?

There are exceptions, as well as federally protected reasons, for why a person may not face termination. Such situations may include:

  • If an employee or contractor is under a working agreement, such as a contract, then they may only be fired for a justifiable reason like poor performance or drug use.
  • An employer also may not terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons like those based on age, race, sex and other protected classes.
  • Depending on the size of the company, employers must give a 60-day notice in the event of widespread layoffs or closings.

If an employer terminates an employee in similar situations as those mentioned above, it is possible the employee has a case for wrongful termination. That said, employment law can sometimes be quite complex, and every employee-employer relationship is unique in its own way.

To learn more about Pennsylvania wrongful termination laws and how they may affect you, reach out to a seasoned employment law attorney.