Employer Threats

I found out that my employer was not paying me what we had agreed to in the interview. I went to him and he adjusted my salary and called it a raise. I bought up the subject of the raise. He said that the next time my increase comes up, I might be getting a pink slip. What legal action do I have?

1 answer  |  asked Jun 28, 2005 11:51 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
You may have a claim for back wages, and a potential claim for wrongful termination.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, you may have a claim for back wages, and a potential claim for wrongful termination. If your employer did not pay you as agreed, and adjusted your pay going forward but did not pay you the unpaid back wage amount(s), then you likely have a claim under the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. If so, your claim is likely to be for the amount of underpaid wages, plus 25% of that amount as liquidated damages as well as your reasonable attorneys' fees.

With regard to being terminated because you demanded your proper wages, you may have a claim for wrongful termination in violation of Pennsylvania public policy. Generally, you are an at-will employee in Pennsylvania, who can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason at all. However, Pennsylvania courts recently held that you cannot fire an employee for taking advantage of Worker's Compensation to which the employee has a right. Although Pennsylvania courts have not yet ruled on whether an employee may be terminated for demanding their proper wages, I suspect that they would rule on the side of the employee just as they did no the side of the employee in the Worker's Comp case.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
401 City Line Avenue,
Suite 904
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jun 28, 2005 2:37 PM [EST]

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