Philadelphia Wrongful Termination
Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer is able to terminate you for any cause or for no cause. However, there are important exceptions. Your employer is not entitled to terminate you in violation of a contract or public policy. If you were terminated for an illegal reason, such as race discrimination, you may have grounds to sue for wrongful termination. The Philadelphia wrongful termination lawyers at Phillips & Associates can review your case, determine whether you have a viable claim, and provide representation if appropriate.Federal Laws on Wrongful Termination
Generally, it is illegal for your employer to fire you based on a protected characteristic under federal statutes, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under Title VII, it is forbidden for an employer to terminate an employee due to his or her sex/gender, race, color, disability, age, pregnancy national origin, or religion.. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal to terminate an employee based on age when an employee is at least 40. Other federal laws prohibit termination based on an employee's disability, pregnancy, genetic information, or citizenship status. Most federal anti-discrimination statutes, including Title VII and the ADA, prohibit discrimination when an employer has at least 15 employees. Under the ADEA, an employer must have at least 20 employees to be covered.State Protections Against Wrongful Termination
The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act (PHRA) covers employers that have at least 4 employees. Your employer cannot terminate you based on your race, color, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, sex/gender, age, religion, disability, use of a service animal, or possession of a GED rather than a high school diploma. A wrongful termination attorney in Philadelphia can advise you on which law would best support your claim.
It is also forbidden for an employer to retaliate against you for engaging in protected activity under the anti-discrimination laws. For example, if you complain in good faith to Humna Resources (HR) that you were sexually harassed, your employer is not permitted to terminate or demote you for complaining because this is a protected activity under both Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act. Similarly, if you support a coworker who faced racial harassment by testifying on his behalf, your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you.Filing a Complaint of Wrongful Termination
Before you sue for wrongful termination under federal law on the basis of discrimination or retaliation, you will likely need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for interpreting and enforcing many of the federal anti-discrimination laws. Alternatively, you may need to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
You may also have a wrongful termination claim if you engage in any activity protected by law. For example, if you are terminated for taking family or medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a Philadelphia wrongful termination attorney can help you pursue a lawsuit.Remedies for Wrongful Termination
If you establish liability, you may be able to recover damages for the wrongful termination. This may include back pay and benefits owed prior to the termination. You may be entitled to reinstatement in your job, but sometimes the bonds between the employer and employee have been damaged too much to make it feasible for the employee to return to the same workplace. If reinstatement is not appropriate, you may be entitled to front pay, or what you would have been paid had you kept your job. If you need to take a lower-paying job after a wrongful termination, you are entitled to the difference in wages as part of your damages.
It can be emotionally challenging to be terminated for wrongful reasons. You may also be able to recover emotional distress damages. The amount awarded will depend on how your case is presented and the jury's evaluation of your claims.Retain a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Philadelphia
Going through a wrongful termination can be distressing. If you believe that you were fired for inappropriate reasons, you should consult the experienced litigators at Phillips & Associates. Call us at (215) 315-7694 or use our online form for a free consultation.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
1635 Market St #1600A
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 315-7694
Fax: (212) 901-2107