A California mother of 2 small children was let go from her company in early June. She believes she was dismissed because her children could be heard on client conference calls. The mom’s employer claims that she was fired because of the pandemic’s negative effect on its revenue. Do you think this is an unlawful firing?
In Pennsylvania, unless an employment contract exists, which is rare, most employment is “at will.” So an employer may fire an employee without having a reason to do so, unless the employer discriminates based upon gender, age, race, sexual preference, etc. Therefore, from a legal standpoint, the employer seemingly took no improper action in discharging the employee for the employee’s children “disrupting” her work calls. However, if the matter had occurred in PA, the case would likely hinge on whether the employer made “sexist” comments, and/or was seen to have discriminated against the employee.
Scott Bonebrake is a general practitioner in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 25 years. Please feel free to contact Scott with any legal questions or concerns regarding employment at 610-892-7700, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.