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Did your employer discriminate against you? Do you need assistance with questions about work place safety or injuries? Are you having trouble collecting unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits? If so, a Philadelphia labor law lawyer can reconcile your concerns in a strategic and focused manner. This article will attempt to digest the basics of PA employment law. For specific strategic help, speak with a Philadelphia lawyer as soon as possible.
State and federal law prohibits Pennsylvania employers from discriminating against hirees and workers on the basis of disability, national origin, sex, age, race, or religion. If you file an official complaint against an employer for sexual harassment, discrimination, or any other unfair treatment, and the employer retaliates against you – for instance, by demoting you or taking you off a key assignment – this is illegal, and you can file a claim of retaliation.
Termination: The “At Will” Concept
As your Philadelphia labor law lawyer can explain to you, Pennsylvania is an “at will” state. This means that your boss can fire you “at will” for any reason under the sun – as long as that decision doesn’t violate the law. Your work contract should spell out the conditions under which your employer can terminate the relationship. Defeating the “at will” presumption may be difficult, if not impossible, except under extraordinary circumstances. That being said, again, if you can show that an employer violated your rights somehow or discriminated against you or fired you out of retaliation, then you have a much better chance of success.
Safety at the Work Place
OSHA regulations (set by the federal government) protect private sector employees. Pennsylvania General Safety Law, No. 174 covers public sector employees. If you got injured at work, you might be able to claim compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which is administered by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Office of Adjudication.
Your disability classification will determine the benefits you can get. For permanent total disability, you will (in most cases) be entitled to two-thirds of your average wage per week. For permanent partial disability, you will get two-thirds of your wage, and the period of benefits will be modified by the type and extent of your injury. For instance, if you lose a limb, you can collect benefits for 410 weeks. Partial disability calculations get slightly more complicated. You can get two-thirds of your average wage minus the wage you can earn in spite of being injured –and you can collect these benefits for 500 weeks.
A Philadelphia labor law lawyer can help you resolve disputes with your employer and with any insurance company. Your Philadelphia lawyer can also discuss unemployment benefits-related matters, including problems you have collecting under Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Program and questions about the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Soliciting Help from a Philadelphia Labor Law Lawyer
Obviously, you seek the simplest and fairest resolution to your work related problem. To resolve issues fast and according to best principles, it may behoove you to consult with a Philadelphia labor law lawyer now. After all, if you believe that your employer (or ex-employer) wronged you by subjecting you to harassment, not paying benefits, or demoting you in retaliation for making a complaint, for instance, you will likely need a Philadelphia lawyer to steer a proper course and avoid making mistakes that could cripple your case.
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