Under pennsylvania law employer may not be estopped

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Unformatted text preview: a is an employment at-will jurisdiction, and employer may discharge an employee with or without cause, at pleasure, unless restrained by some contract. Pennsylvania law permits a cause of action against employer for wrongful discharge of at-will employee where discharge threatens or violates a clear mandate of public policy which must be of a type that strikes at heart of citizen's social right, duties and responsibilities. Under Pennsylvania law, at-will employee may not be fired for serving on jury duty. Under Pennsylvania law, employer may not deny employment to a person with a prior conviction. Under Pennsylvania law, at-will employee may not be fired for reporting violations of federal regulations to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 72 For purposes of principle of Pennsylvania law that at-will employee may sue employer for wrongful discharge if discharge threatens or violates a clear mandate of public policy, sources of public policy can be found in legislation, administrative rules, regulation, or decision, and absent legislation, judiciary must define the cause of action in case-by-case determinations. Under Pennsylvania law, employer may not be estopped from firing at-will employee based upon a promise, even when reliance is demonstrated. Termination of at-will employee for transmitting inappropriate and unprofessional comments over employer's e-mail system did not violate public policy and, accordingly, former employee could not maintain a wrongful discharge action against employer under Pennsylvania law, notwithstanding any assurances that such communications would not be intercepted by management; once employee communicated a comment over e-mail system apparently utilized by entire company, a reasonable expectation of privacy was lost, and even if employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy, a reasonable person would not have considered employer's interception of communications to be a substantial and highly offensive invasion of his privacy. *98 Hyman Lovitz, Lovitz & Gold, P.C., Philadelphia, PA, Sidney L. Gold, Lov...
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