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Who is protected from at-will termination in Pennsylvania?

As an employee in Montgomery, Pennsylvania, you may wonder what legal grounds your employer has for terminating your employment. Pennsylvania is an at-will state, which means that unless you have a contract or there is some statutory restriction, your supervisor has the right to fire you whether or not he or she has a reason, or even if there is not a reason.

There are some exceptions to the rule. According to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, termination at will does not include discrimination, and you may not be fired because of your race, color, religion, sex or national origin. You also cannot be fired for being age 40 or older, having a disability and/or requiring a support animal, or having a genetic condition. It is considered illegal discrimination if you are fired because you have a GED instead of a high school diploma. If you work in a health care setting, you are allowed to refuse to participate in abortion procedures.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you are protected from wrongful termination if you are a commercial driver who refuses to operate a company vehicle that does not comply with state safety laws. You are also protected from retaliation if you file a complaint because of a safety violation, or if you have a reasonable concern that the vehicle or equipment could cause harm to yourself or someone else. This information about at-will employment in the state of Pennsylvania has been provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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