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I was falsely accused of harassment by a fellow employee with

whom I was involved in...
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.
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
2/4/2012
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,233
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
Verified
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?
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Customer reply replied 5 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?
Okay, well, let's look at a couple of things. Did you belong to a union?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
No union. I was employed by a nonprofit as a partime ESL teacher.
Thank you. Did you have a written employment contract which said that you can only be terminated for just cause?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Very well. What's your understanding of what it means to be an at-will employee in Pennsylvania?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I am employed for the term of the semester until thotherwise notified?
What makes you believe that you are entitled to work through the end of the semester?
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Customer reply replied 5 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!
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
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,233
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
Verified
JB Umphrey and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,233
20,233 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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