Philadelphia Wrongful Termination Attorneys

Wrongful Termination On The Basis Of Your Race, Color, Sex, National Origin Or Religion

In general, employers may fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. However, if there is a reason, it cannot be a bad reason. It is illegal for your employer to fire you based on your skin color, your religion, your ethnicity, your sex, your race or if you complained about discrimination because of one of these traits. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination in the workplace. Title VII establishes protected categories — race, color, sex, national origin (ethnicity) and religion. This law protects employees, former employees and employment applicants from illegal discrimination on the basis of their membership in any of these protected categories.

In addition to wrongful termination, Title VII also protects members of these protected classes from other adverse employment actions. An adverse employment action is a very broad term, which covers almost anything your employer may do that affects your employment in a negative way, including:

  • Refusal to hire
  • Discharge
  • Lay-off
  • Suspension
  • Unequal discipline
  • Poor performance review
  • Demotion
  • Adverse transfer or shift change
  • Pay reduction
  • Reduction in overtime hours
  • Negative references

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Employment discrimination based on your skin color, your religion, your ethnicity, your sex or your race is illegal. If you believe your employer has illegally discriminated against you, contact us.

Wrongful Termination On The Basis Of A Disability You May Have

It is illegal for an employer to fire you for exercising your legal rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects an employee's job by requiring employers having over 50 employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave. To qualify, the employee must be employed at the company for at least one year, and experience a serious health condition requiring continuing treatment. The FMLA provides eligible employees with two substantive rights — the right to take a leave of absence and the right to be free from discrimination for exercising a leave of absence provided under this act. Heightened protections are available for members of the U.S. military.

It is illegal for an employer to fire you on the basis of any disability you presently have, had in the past or are perceived to have. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination in the workplace. Under the ADA, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities, and must provide those employees with disabilities an equal employment opportunity. In addition, employers are required to provide disabled employees with a reasonable accommodation for their disabilities. The ADA requires employers to provide disabled employees with an equal opportunity for promotion and benefits. Under the ADA, a disability is broadly defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities. The ADA also protects those who have had a history of disability or those who are regarded as having a disability. If you have been wrongfully terminated on the basis of a real or perceived disability, or if your employer fails to make a reasonable accommodation for your disability, contact us.

Wrongful Termination As An Employer's Retaliation Against An Employee

It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for complaining about being discriminated against in the workplace. Harassment in the workplace comes in many forms, which include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment and discrimination based on membership in any of the classes protected under the law. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for complaining about violations of the law, such as wage and hour law violations or failure to pay overtime. An employee's complaints about an employer's activities, which are reasonably perceived as being illegal, are considered to be protected activity. An employer's retaliation against an employee is not limited to terminations. Retaliation can also be expressed as transferring the complaining employee to a less favorable shift; transferring the employee to a different location farther from his or her home; providing preferential treatment to noncomplaining employees; or precluding an employee from receiving overtime assignments, just to name a few.

Although most employers' personnel policies promise that the employer will not retaliate against an employee for making a complaint, we all know of individuals who are mysteriously discharged shortly after making a complaint or after acting as a witness for a fellow employee.

Retaliation simply means you were discharged for making a complaint. It means almost any negative action taken by your employer against you (or even against a family member or friend) in response to your complaint about discrimination or other perceived illegal conduct, or for participating as a witness in someone else's discrimination case.

A retaliation case is often easier to prove than a discrimination or harassment case. To prove retaliation, the employee does not have to prove the employer engaged in discrimination or other illegal activity. Rather, the employee need only demonstrate he or she reasonably believed discrimination or other illegal activity took place, and that the complaining employee was subjected to an adverse employment action because of those complaints.

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If you truly believe you or someone you know at work has been discriminated against, or has suffered from wrongful termination, you don't have to suffer in silence.

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Wrongful Termination On The Basis Of Your Age

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older. For employees in this protected class, the ADEA makes it illegal for an employer to in any way discriminate or retaliate against an employee, up to and including termination, on the basis of age. The act also makes it illegal to discriminate against employees in the protected class with respect to compensation, benefits, promotions or other privileges of employment. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees.

Wrongful Termination On The Basis Of Your Pregnancy

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The law requires employers with over 15 employees to treat female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions equally for all employment-related purposes, including application to employment, the receipt of benefits, discipline and termination.