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I have some questions on labor laws in Pennsylvania.

Uniontown, PA |

I was recently fired from a county job as a correctional Officer. They never notified me, I had to go to human resources and they sent me a letter stating that my job was terminated. I never had any written or verbal warnings, just let go. Do I have a case?

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Attorney answers 3


You have a viable unemployment compensation claim if you did not violate a rule or cause the termination due to your own fault. If you are a union employee, you should pursue grievance procedures. Otherwise, you are unlikely to have a case unless you can show that you were terminted due to unlawful discrimination.

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This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.



Well, when I finally got ahold of human resources for the county the human resources guy told me I had been let go because I was "too nice". I wasn't employed long enough to be in the union and when I called the union official he told me he could try to get ahold of the warden and ask questions but more than likely they can do what they want.


It is unclear from your question what type of a "case" you are inquiring about.

If you are inquiring about applying for Unemployment Compensation Benefits, as you were terminated from your employment, you should be able to secure You see Benefits. If you are a Union employee and your termination violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement, I would contact your union representative to determine whether or not you have a valid basis to file a Grievance with the union.

If you are inquiring as to whether or not you have a case for Wrongful Termination, if you are a non-union employee, Pennsylvania, is considered an "at will" state and you can be fired for little or no reason, unless you fall into a protected class.

It would be my recommendation that you contact an Employment Attorney, if you wish to pursue a Wrongful Termination Case to determine whether or not you do have a valid cause of action.

If you are seeking merely Unemployment Compensation. It is my recommendation that you immediately file a claim for UC and you may still need to contact an attorney experienced in handling Unemployment Compensation claims. Should you be denied.



Thanks! I appreciate the answers!


If you are a non-union employee without a contract of employment, then technically, no written or verbal warnings, or even advance notice, of a termination is required to be given to an employee. This is because Pennsylvania, as previously mentioned, is an "at-will" employment state.

However, if you do have a contract of employment, then because you are a county employee it is possible that you may have a protected property interest in your governmental employment, which would require that due process be provided to you before you can be lawfully terminated. Most times, this process just comes in the form of a pre-termination hearing with a right to be heard, but it may be something nonetheless.

Also, as a governmental employee, you have First Amendment protection that prevents you from being terminated in retaliation for speaking you mind about issues that are of public concern, or purely on the basis of political affiliation.

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