Philadelphia Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Being fired can often seem unfair. Although Pennsylvania and New Jersey are “at-will” employment states, meaning an employer can fire someone for any reason, or no reason at all, there are exceptions.
There are certain situations where it is illegal to fire a person. Even if a state is “at-will,” the employee cannot fire someone based on their sex, race, religion, national origin, color, disability, age and other factors protected by the law. When a wrongful termination occurs, the fired employee may have a claim to damages, including lost back pay, future pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
Philadelphia Wrongful Termination Lawyer
If you believe you may have a claim for wrongful termination or wrongful discharge, contact the experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC to take on your claim and fight for you. You may have a claim for wrongful termination or one of several other violations of federal, state or local employment law.
We are a firm of experienced, skilled attorneys recognized by our peers for our dedication to our clients and our knowledge of the law. We can fight aggressively to defend your rights. Call us today at 215-545-7676 to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique situation.
We represent clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including, but not limited to, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Lancaster and Chester Counties. We also represent clients in New Jersey, including, but not limited to, Burlington, Atlantic, Ocean, Camden, Gloucester and Cape May Counties. Additionally, we represent clients throughout New York.
Discharge in Violation of a Contract
Some workers have employment contracts with their employers. The specific terms of the contract may prohibit the employer from terminating the employee without cause. It may outline the cause that is sufficient for discharge. An employer who ends the employment contract outside those terms is in breach. A contract can be either written or oral.
Illegal Discrimination-Based Termination
It is illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of one of several factors enumerated in federal, state or local law. Some of those factors include:
- National origin;
- Disability; or
- Sexual orientation in Philadelphia, New Jersey and certain other areas of Pennsylvania.
If a negative employment decision, including discharge, is made on the basis of any of these factors, the employer may have violated one of several anti-discrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
A common factor for discriminatory termination is pregnancy. A woman may be terminated shortly after informing her employer of a pregnancy, or when that pregnancy becomes physically apparent. In these cases, the woman may be able to show that she was wrongfully terminated in violation of the law.
Termination in Retaliation
If an employee reports a violation of law or regulation , reports fraud, or complains of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, they should not be retaliated against.
An employee should also not be retaliated against for exercising a right he or she has under law. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees who meet certain qualifications the right to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition or for the birth of a child. An employer is not permitted to terminate an employee for requesting or taking this leave.
Many of the laws prohibiting discrimination or entitling employees to rights like leave also contain provisions prohibiting any form of negative employment action, including termination, for reporting discrimination or exercising a right like leave. Additionally, whistleblower protection laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey protect people who report violations of laws.
In some cases, an employee can have an action for retaliatory termination even when he or she does not have a cause of action for discrimination or harassment.
Public Policy Violation in Wrongful Discharge Cases
The public policy exception is narrow, but courts have found the exception when the employer has asked the employee to do something that is in violation of a clearly mandated public policy and “strikes at the heart of a citizen’s social right, duties and responsibilities” The public policy exception to at-will employee also exists in New Jersey, giving employees a claim for wrongful termination.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC ǀ Philadelphia Wrongful Termination Lawyers
At Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, our dedicated teams of Philadelphia employment lawyers fight for the rights of workers in the Philadelphia area, New Jersey and New York. Some employment claims have a strict 180-day deadline, so it is important to act quickly. Call us today at 215-545-7676 to set up a consultation.