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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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I was falsely accused of harassment by a fellow employee with

Resolved Question:

I was falsely accused of harassment by a fellow employee with whom I was involved in a relationship with. As a result I was forced to leave me position.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am very sorry to learn of your experience. Please clarify: what is your actual question that you'd like assistance with? What information are you seeking from JustAnswer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I have legal recourse to see the details of what I have been alleged to have done? Do I have the right to legally challeng the accusations and the fact that I was forced to resign because of them?
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Okay, well, let's look at a couple of things. Did you belong to a union?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No union. I was employed by a nonprofit as a partime ESL teacher.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Did you have a written employment contract which said that you can only be terminated for just cause?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was not formerly contracted. I was anciallary staff, but I did have to sign a workplace policies type of form. Within in that was a policy about workplace violence.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Very well. What's your understanding of what it means to be an at-will employee in Pennsylvania?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am employed for the term of the semester until thotherwise notified?
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
What makes you believe that you are entitled to work through the end of the semester?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I dont know. All I know is that I was their best teacher and they took some erroneous information of which I was not allowed to see, or refute and now I'm out of there!
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 2 years ago.
Okay, I will explain what it means to be an at-will employee.

Since at least 1891, Pennsylvania courts have recognized the rule that, absent a contract, employees may be discharged at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Henry v. Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Co., 139 Pa. 289, 21 A. 157 (1891).

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has noted that “were we to open the tribunals of justice and allow juries to decide every question involving an at-will employee dismissal, we would be allowing them to dictate the business policies of the giant corporation and the family-run business alike. Since we find no contract to overcome the at-will presumption, and no public policy violation..., the court cannot interfere with (the employer’s) decision to discharge appellant. Darlington v. General Elec., 504 A. 2d 306 (1986).

“The essence of the employment at-will presumption is that the decision to discharge an employee is best left to the managerial prerogative and generally will not be reviewed in a judicial forum. The other side of the rule is that an employee may resign at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Veno v. Meredith, 515 A. 2d 571 (1986).

All of the facts that you've described, indicate that you were an at-will employee. This means that you could be let go at any time. You had no legal right to continued employment.

So, to answer your original questions:

Do I have legal recourse to see the details of what I have been alleged to have done? Answer: No. The employer has no legal obligation to provide that information.

Do I have the right to legally challeng the accusations and the fact that I was forced to resign because of them? Answer: No. You do not have a contract which said that you can only be let go for just cause.

I wish very much that I could offer you an answer that was more favorable to your circumstances, but the law seems to be pretty clear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

I hope you understand.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you are satisfied that your question has been answered, kindly select the ACCEPT button to close this thread and so that I receive credit for assisting you today.
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JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
JB Umphrey and 6 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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