Pennsylvania Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

Pennsylvania is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason. However, a federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or individual employment contract may place further limitations on an otherwise at-will employment relationship.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Attachment of income. It is a crime for an employer to discharge an employee because the employee's income has been attached in connection with a domestic support proceeding (PA Stat. Tit. 23 Sec. 4348).
Jury duty and court attendance. No employer may discipline or discharge an employee for an absence resulting from receiving a summons to jury duty, serving on a jury, or attending court because he or she is a victim of, or a witness to, a crime or is a crime victim's family member (PA Stat. Tit. 42 Sec. 4563 andTit. 18 Sec. 4957).
The jury duty law does not apply to employers in the retail service industry with fewer than 15 employees or employers in manufacturing with fewer than 40 employees.
Lie detector tests. An employer may not discharge or discipline an employee for refusing to take a polygraph test. Exceptions to the law include employers in the field of public law enforcement or those who dispense or have access to narcotics or dangerous drugs (PA Stat. Tit. ...

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