At Will Employment Exceptions and Options
When you start a new job, employers ask you to complete and sign a variety of documents, including an employment at-will agreement. At-will employment means an employee may leave their place of work at any time for any reason. The employment at-will doctrine also states that an employee may be fired for any reason or no reason at all, if the reason is considered legal. If fired, however, you may still be entitled to certain rights and benefits.
What States Are Employment At-will?
All 50 states plus Washington, D.C. are considered at-will employment states, but some states have exceptions. Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state that abides by the Public Policy Exemption, which states that an employee may not be fired for an act that aligns with a state or federal policy. For example, an employee cannot be fired if they refuse to participate in illegal activity at work or if they file a workers' compensation claim after getting hurt on the job. Employees may also not be fired for refusing to participate in immoral or unethical activities.
If you feel you were fired for something that violates the at-will employment doctrine, it shouldn't be up to you to figure out whether you have a case. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we'll be by your side to walk you through each step of the legal process. As an employee, you have rights no matter where you work. Call us today for a free consultation at 412-394-1000.
Why is At-will Employment Bad?
At-will employment can put employees in an uncomfortable position. They may feel like they can only say things that will please their employer, rather than collaborating and freely expressing their opinions. Sometimes, employees will say silent instead of voicing their opinions on an issue, fearing that they will lose their job if they say something that conflicts with their employers' opinions. At-will employment also discourages employees from submitting complaints about their direct supervisor.
Legal claims can be overwhelming, and they can become more stressful when your livelihood is on the line. You deserve to work with a legal team who understands your concerns and cares about your well-being. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we've been helping hardworking people get the benefits they deserve since 1982. If you decide to hire us, you pay us nothing unless—or until—we win your case.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in an At-Will State?
You may have a case if you were fired for a reason that violates the at-will employment doctrine, including:
- Workplace Retaliation
- Refusal to participate in illegal or unethical activity
- Discrimination (based on age, race, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender & gender identity, pregnancy etc.)
Cases vary and are unique to the situation, so we suggest contacting an attorney as soon as possible. Employment lawsuits can involve a lot of deadlines and paperwork, so you want to make sure you have a lawyer that has the right experience and keeps you informed during the entire process.
Can You Fire an At-will Employee for No Reason?
According to the at-will employment doctrine, an employer may fire an employee for no reason. However, employees may not be fired for reasons that violate anti-discrimination laws or public policy. For example, employees cannot be fired for filing a complaint, such as a discrimination claim, against their employer. Certain federal acts also protect employees from being fired on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, ability, pregnancy, or any other protected class. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, we urge you to seek legal advice.
Your employer has a legal team on their side to protect their rights—you deserve the same treatment. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we'll go up against your employer to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our legal team will work hard to collect evidence and build a case for you. Remember, there's never a fee unless we get money for you. Call us today at 412-394-1000.