Legal Matters: Three Ways to Clearly Understand Your Employment Status

Employment agreement
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By Jonathan B. Young

Fair is considered the F word in employment law.

Translated: your employer can do many things that are perfectly legal but clearly unfair. Here are 3 tips to help you know where you stand from your employer’s point of view.

1) Know your status.

The At-Will Employment Doctrine governs most employees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Doctrine can be explained as meaning that an employee works at the will of the employer and that the employee can exercise full control over whether they continue working for any given employer. An at-will employee is distinguished from a contractual employee, a union member or an independent contractor. These characterizations have significant legal implications and often come to play if have difficulties on the job.


2) Understand your Employer’s Obligations.

Under Pennsylvania law employers are mandated to display a simplistic Employment Rights Chart that employees can reference with regards to workers’ compensation, health and pension benefits, workplace drug testing, the payment of overtime, and many other Employment law topics.

3) Know your Rights

At-will employees can be terminated from employment for almost any nondiscriminatory reason. However, termination from employment does not end your legal rights. You maintain rights to extended healthcare under COBRA. You are also may be entitled to unemployment compensation if your termination does not arise from “willful misconduct.” If you are separated from long-term employment you may receive a Separation Agreement which needs to be examined carefully.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is the state agency responsible for enforcing many employment standards in Pennsylvania. They maintain an electronic library of employment laws and workplace regulations.

Often it is a good place to start with any question as to unemployment or workers’ compensation, overtime or workplace safety matters. Here’s the link. 

If you have employment law questions, please reference the link above or contact us directly at 215.362.2474.

About Jonathan Young:

Jon is a local attorney with a downtown performance record. His practice covers a wide range of issues including personal injury litigation, general litigation, workers’ compensation, Social Security litigation, ERISA, wrongful discharge, and employment law claims. 

For three decades, Jon has been been a guarantor of fairness for local individuals. His pragmatic, worldly approach optimizes realistic, positive outcomes for his clients.

Jon splits his time between the two DBD offices in Lansdale and Pottstown and the E. Kenneth Nyce office in Boyertown. Jon is even known to make a house call in a pinch. He is a Navy Veteran and involved in many organizations.

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