The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an “At Will” State. Generally speaking, an employer can fire, or refuse to hire for any reason other than an illegal reason. Employees must be paid wages for the work they do for the employer. Employees cannot be fired or denied employment because of their race, color, age (for those over 40) national origin, sex/gender, religion, and disability. Please note a number of Pennsylvania municipalities now have local ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Pittston, and Scranton. Further, employees who are rightfully entitled to certain government protections and benefits cannot be disciplined or fired for exercising such rights. For example, we provide advice for people filing wage claims, or have questions about their FMLA rights. We also advise a client, and when appropriate, refer that client to EEOC.
I was fired after reporting sexual harassment, what are my rights?
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment includes sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual advances, verbal/physical harassment of a sexual nature, and offensive remarks about a person’s sex. Harassment is illegal whether it is a male, female, or non-binary individual committing the offense. The harasser can be a supervisor, co-worker, client, or customer.
Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).