In the state of Pennsylvania, as in the large majority of states, the employee/employer relationship is most often an “at will” agreement unless the contract explicitly states otherwise. This means that either party can terminate the relationship without cause and without notice. There are no legal obligations. Fortunately, an employer still cannot release an employee in an act of discrimination against protected classes of people. There are both state and federal laws that protect employees, and violating these laws is cause for legal action against the employer.
The federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity Laws (EEO) offer protection from discrimination to the following classes:
According to federal law, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, disability, age (being 40 or over), status of citizenship, and genetic information. This rule only applies to companies with 20 employees or more.
What classes are protected in the state of Pennsylvania?
In addition to the classes mentioned above, the state offers additional protection to those who passed a GED exam (General Educational Development Test) rather than graduating from high school, those who use a service animal, and those related to or associated with a disabled person. Pennsylvania is a state that offers generous protection to its citizens and applies these laws to employers with 4 or more employees.
When you have a claim and when you don’t
If you feel that you are being discriminated against or you aren’t getting promoted because of race, if you are the butt of jokes and constant derogatory comments, if you are always assigned the most tedious jobs, and then you are suddenly dismissed, you may have a legal case. It all depends on whether you can prove that you were discriminated against merely because of your race. For example, if your employer is Caucasian and all the other employees who are also Caucasian receive a different type of treatment and different opportunities, you may have a case. On the other hand, if everyone is of the same race, it could just be that your boss doesn’t like you, which is not a case of discrimination.
How being a member of a protected class benefits you
If you belong to a class that is protected against discrimination you can defend your rights before a state agency. You will be given assistance and your case will be reviewed. If your problem is not resolved, you can take your employer to court. Depending on the case, lawyers will tell you whether you should lodge your complaint in a federal or state court. If you win your case, you will receive monetary compensation and in some cases your employer will be ordered to reinstate you in your job.
If you, a family member, or a friend has been unfairly dismissed in Pennsylvania, your best option is to contact a lawyer to determine if you have a legal case or not. The doctors and accident lawyers at Grupo MedLegal offer you a completely free consultation in which they will review your case in detail. They can meet with you whenever and wherever it is convenient for you. You’ll get legal advice and counsel from a highly qualified staff with more than 30 years of experience. Our personnel are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.