As with most other states, Pennsylvania follows the principle of at-will employment. What this essentially means is that employers can terminate workers at a time of their choosing. At the same time, employees are also free to leave without providing notice.
Nonetheless, there are laws that prohibit employers from getting rid of workers through retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employee has attempted to assert their legal rights and has been penalized as a result. Outlined below are some of the more common examples.
Retaliation toward whistleblowers
Businesses are required to adhere to the law at all times. A minority of businesses fail to do this. For example, a company may force employees to work in unsafe conditions that go against regulations. Employees are perfectly entitled to raise concerns about this without being punished.
Retaliation for asserting legal rights
In Pennsylvania, the minimum wage is $7.25. Companies are forbidden from paying their staff anything less than this, although they are free to pay a greater amount. If a worker receives their paycheck and it falls below this amount, then this is a breach of the law and they are entitled to assert their legal right to the minimum wage without facing penalties.
Workers’ compensation claims
Another common cause of workplace retaliation occurs when an employee attempts to make a valid claim for injury compensation. Companies should have provisions in place such as insurance to cover the cost of workplace injuries, but they may be fearful of their premiums rising. Nonetheless, a worker cannot be penalized on the basis of making a valid workers’ comp claim or providing supporting evidence for a co-worker who is making a legitimate claim.
Employment retaliation is a serious issue that violates your rights. If you are facing such actions, make sure you seek some legal guidance.