I believe I was wrongfully terminated last week, can I sue my employer?

Asked over 4 years ago - Bethlehem, PA

For the past 2 years, I've been in charge of purchasing. When we buy a piece of hardware, we pad up the quotes without our clients knowing it. For an example, we buy a computer for $500 but charge the clients $540. We pocket the $40 without our clients knowing we do this. I think I messed up on a quote and sent the end-user a wrong quote. This was the second time it happened. I was terminated for something bogus but I do know that the purchasing had something to do with it. I have proof that my company was stealing money from the clients with the padded up quotes. That money they stole paid for our company christmas party, birthday cakes, and our lunches. I told them I didn't think it was right but that was the answer I got. Should I go seek legal help? Now I am unemployed and have no $.

Additional information

Another example: You own a company, you hire someone to do your technical work. You tell him/her to get you 10 computers. That person finds a computer for $800 but since he/she doesn't think they should be doing the purchasing because it's not in the contract. They charge you $830 for each computer without you knowing it. In the end, you paid $300 more than you should have and he/she made a nice hefty profit off you. On top of everything, you are paying that person a salary every two weeks for their services.
In my case, purchasing wasn't in our contract and we did it anyways, they thought that was justification to "steal" money that isn't theirs. I was terminated for something else bogus that didn't make sense. They couldn't say "you are gone because you messed up on the quotes" because they know they can't say that. I didn't send the wrong quotes to the end user. I just sent the non-marked up quote. I was let go since this end-user was close to putting the pieces together.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Harold Mark Goldner

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    3

    Answered . Pennsylvania is an at-will state in which you can be terminated for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. The only exceptions are for violations of public policy, which has been defined by the courts as enactments by the Pennsylvania legislature or U.S. Congress.

    There is no private whistleblower law in Pennsylvania, so if you have objections to the manner in which your private former employer did business, you need to find another employer.

    You should be eligible for unemployment compensation, however, unless the employer can prove that your termination was for "willful misconduct."

  2. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I do not know PA labor law. However, in CA you can be terminated for any reason or no reason unless you have a contract or a union agreement. Messing up two quotes sounds like a valid reason. The overcharging is not a reason unless you threatened to report them to the authorities and they fired you for threatening to be a whistleblower. Sorry about your job loss. You might want to consult a PA attorney to see if you were wrongfully terminated under PA law.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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