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Harold Mark Goldner

Harold Goldner’s Answers

164 total


  • I believe I was wrongfully terminated under the basis of "hear say", how could I take action?

    I was employed by a theater company as a assistant manager for two, almost three months. During the course of my third month I was asked by my superior to write up two certain individuals that had been in violation of work conduct. I reprimanded t...

    Harold’s Answer

    I am appalled that lawyers from other jurisdictions feel it's appropriate to respond to inquiries from outside their home states. Regardless of how articulate the responses are, it little serves the public to conjecture about what the law may be in a jurisdiction in which one is not admitted to practice. I would not presume to suggest what the law in California or Connecticut is; in fact, I always seek local counsel if I have a question about a foreign jurisdiction. The sole motivation for suggesting answers to foreign jurisdictions is to game the Avvo points system, and frankly, points should not be awarded for answers outside a lawyer's jurisdiction, let alone the consequences under each state's Rules of Professional Conduct.

    Now, as to this particular inquiry regarding Pennsylvania law, Pennsylvania is an "at will" state, which means you can be fired at any time for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. The only exception is for violations of "public policy" which Pennsylvania courts have interpreted to mean violations of legislation enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature (or United States Congress).

    If you were treated differently because of your age, sex, disability, national origin or race (that is to say, someone in your *precise* position who did the same thing for which you were fired, but not your gender, age, national origin, race or, if you were disabled, with your disability, was not fired for the same thing), then you might possibly have a claim of "employment discrimination," but you have not suggested such facts in your inquiry.

    As to "hearsay" --- that happens all the time. The law doesn't require that a Pennsylvania employer be particularly competent at it human resources practices. So, while you may well have been treated "unfairly," you have not been treated unlawfully, and you have no claim cognizable under Pennsylvania law.

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  • Can I sue my employer for terminating my employment when I won an appeal with the UC.

    I was fired for Breach of Confidentiality, which did not occur per HIPAA Regulations. I made an appointment for a client when his girlfriend called in to see if he could be seen earlier than his two week appointment because she was concerned for ...

    Harold’s Answer

    Pennsylvania is an at will state in which you can be terminated for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. You cannot be terminated in violation of "Public Policy" which our courts interpret to mean statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress or the Pennsylvania Legislature.

    The issue in unemployment compensation is whether you are entitled to benefits, not whether you have a claim against your employer for the termination. Typically the UC decision is irrelevant to whether you have any claims against your former employer. In this case, while your employer may not have what you consider a good reason, they don't need a reason at all, and under Pennsylvania you would not have a claim.

    If there are other issues which you did not discuss on the web site, I encourage you to contact a Pennsylvania employment lawyer.

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  • Can an employer terminate an employee without giving them a termination letter?

    I was recently terminated from my job and did not receive a termination letter. I also had a contract for this year and they voided that as well with no true reason as to why...

    Harold’s Answer

    The terms of your contract dictate all aspects of your termination, including whether you can be terminated and how it should be documented.

    Nobody on this website can advise you regarding your rights without actually seeing the contract. I suggest you contact a Pennsylvania employment lawyer as soon as possible.

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  • Can someone help me fill out my unemployment claimant questionnaire?

    my claim is being fought by my employer and I do not know the correct way to answer. I need these files filled out tonight and need help asap. thank you

    Harold’s Answer

    This website is chock full of employment lawyers. Pick up the phone, my friend. Nobody can "fill out a form" on the internet for you.

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  • I was fired from my job, and I believe it to be because I'm pregnant.

    I have an exit interview form stating that I was fired for not performing my job properly, but the job requirements do not state the specifics for which I was terminated. I am obtaining documents that prove that I was an overacheiving employee. ...

    Harold’s Answer

    The exit interview is not required by law, nor is any statement of what the job requirements are. Pennsylvania is an at will state in which you can be terminated at any time for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all, BUT you cannot be terminated in violation of "public policy," which our courts interpret to mean violation of an express enactment of the PA legislature or US Congress.

    In this case, it appears that the termination could have been motivated by your pregnancy, which would constitute a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Law, as well as Pennsylvania's Human Relations Act. If you were still able to work at the time of firing, you would also be entitled to unemployment compensation.

    Finally, if the employer was large enough, and you had been there long enough to be entitled to FMLA, the firing could violate that law as well.

    As Jennifer (who is also a well-qualified PA employment lawyer) says, I would contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible to explore your rights under these facts.

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  • Fell and broke my leg.I called the HR dept. the next day, and was told that she didnt know if I was eligable for FMLA she would

    check with corporate that was 2 wks. ago and 3 phone call ago.HR claims they are still waiting to here from corporate, then offered me a 30 day LOA.if usually takes 6 wks for bones to heal if all goes well. It sounds a little fishy to me. what do ...

    Harold’s Answer

    You are only eligible for FMLA if: (1) your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius; and (2) You have been employed for at least one year; and (3) You have worked at least 1250 hours during that year. If so, regardless of whether your injury happened on the job or off, you *may* be eligible for FMLA leave if your doctor certifies that you have suffered a "serious injury" which prevents you from performing the essential functions of the job.

    All I can glean from your question is that: (1) you broke your leg; and (2) it happened off the job.

    Nothing else in your question provides me any useful information. I suggest you contact a PA employment lawyer so the right questions are asked and you can provide those answers.

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  • My question is what does discrimination fall under the law of employment

    i have a little disorder comes and goes but its been really bad lately i have anxiety disorder/panic disorder and depression wich the depression that will probably never go away now my job wich is union had just let me go well prior to that my uni...

    Harold’s Answer

    You asked this question four times and it's so imprecise, I suggest if you *really* want a coherent response to whatever your questions are you call an employment lawyer.

    Note, however, that as a union member in PA, you will not be able to bring a claim of "wrongful termination."

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  • My 50 yr old sister was verbally harassed by fellow employee. Complained to supervisor.End result was she was let go

    After an expecially bad incident of verbal abuse, she left work. Employer did not contact her. After 10 days, she called & wastold she wasn't wanted back. No formal meeting, no paperwork given, just last check sent. A mention was made of maybe...

    Harold’s Answer

    If she resigned, she may be ineligible for unemployment benefits.

    "Verbal abuse" means many things. There are bullies all over the workplace, but unless the harassment is based upon protected classifications, i.e. race, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability, it is not actionable at law. Secondly, she has an obligation to report harassment based on race, sex, religion, national origin or age or the employer may not be charged with notice of the other employer's conduct.

    It may not sound fair, it may not sound reasonable, but your sister's simply "walking away" may have included her walking away from her rights.

    If she (not you) is interested in exploring the details and facts further she (not you) should consult with an employment lawyer.

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  • Does this qualify for intentional infliction of emotional distress?

    I went on Intermittent FMLA for stage IV cancer. I was immediately demoted in status and had my workspace moved from the main office to a very small room. Other options were available but my boss would not consider them. Everything I work with was...

    Harold’s Answer

    There is no cause of action for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" recognized in PA by employees against employers. There is a cause of action for retaliation for taking FMLA leave or for interference in taking FMLA leave. In addition; this could be discrimination based upon your record of having a disability, or your actual disability, thereby violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. "Emotional distress" may be an item of damages under these claims, but it isn't an independent cause of action.

    Since an employer has a certain degree of lattitude in granting intermittent FMLA leave, I suggest you contact an employment lawyer who can explore the more specific facts of your claim and better advise you accordingly.

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  • I was fired due to absenteeism while I was in the hospital with my child.

    I have worked for this company for six years. I had a terrible year with my son being ill. The last write up I had for abseenteeism and tardiness was before January. I was told that it didn't matter if I had a doctors excuse or not. It stated that...

    Harold’s Answer

    If the only issue contributing to your absenteeism is your son's serious medical condition (and your son is dependent upon you and resides with you), and you had already been granted intermittent FMLA leave for that purpose which you had not used up, then your employer's conduct could constitute a violation of the FMLA.

    I suggest you review the facts in detail with an employment lawyer who can better assess the validity of any claim you may have than can be done via Q&A on this website.

    Harold M. Goldner

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