Can I sue for severance pay if I was fired unjustly without warning?

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Can I sue for severance pay if I was fired unjustly without warning?

I was fired 5 days after confronting my supervisor about the issues with favoritism in our workplace and not being able to get extra hours like a select few employees do. The reason given for being fired was due to a social media policy; I posted a memo about unfair management practices. The company/employees were not implied and I was not given a warning or suspension. I have been an employee there for 3 years and have never had any problems or issues.

Asked on October 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, unless this action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have no claim here. That is unless your treatment was due to some form of legally actionable discrimination. In other words, were you treated differently than your co-workers because of your race, religion, nationality, gender, age (over 40) disability or nationality? If not, then your employer need not treat you the same or even fairly relative to other employees. Accordingly, your not aving been being given extra hours was not illegal. As for your ex-employer's social media policy, subject to the foregoing acts of discrimnation, etc., it too was legal. The fact is that most businesses prohibit social networking on company time or posting anything negative about the company. That having been said, a social networking policy that is too restrictive may constitute a violation of an employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protects a worker's rights to participate in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection". Therefore, employees dohave the right to speak out in an effort to improve conditions in the workplace. Consequently, social networking policies that prohibit such online activity that might be considered a violation of federal law. At this point, you can consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you further.


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