The rights that workers have in the United States often depend, to some extent, on the state that they are in. It also depends on the employer for which they work. If you work in Pennsylvania for a private company, this generally means that your employer can fire you “at-will”. This means that they can technically fire you and give you no formal reason or justification for the termination of your employment.
While this is true, there are also many anti-discrimination and employee protection laws that can prosecute certain behavior. This means that while employers do not need to give a reason for firing you, if it is obvious that they fired you for a discriminatory reason, they can be liable to face legal action.
Therefore, employees fired in relation to their race, religion, gender, age or disability have the ability to claim damages as a result. This is also true for those who are establishing themselves as whistleblowers for discrimination or harassment, or when a person suffers an injury at work and claims workers’ compensation as a result.
I was fired after making a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania. Can I take action?
When employees file for workers’ compensation, it means that they are claiming damages from their employer’s insurance company. While workers’ compensation gives employees many rights, it also means that they cannot sue their employer for damages relating to an injury.
However, filing for workers’ compensation also means that employees are protected from having their employment terminated because of their injury. However, it is common for employees in Pennsylvania to be unaware of the rights that they have.
The law understands that suffering a work-related injury can mean that employees are unable to carry out their jobs at full performance for a significant amount of time, and that they are more vulnerable when it comes to being fired.
If you have been fired shortly after suffering a work-related injury in Pennsylvania, it is important that you take action so that you can stand up for your rights.