If my husband is being wrongfully fired, what can he do?

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If my husband is being wrongfully fired, what can he do?

My husband works for an auto shop and while lifting a vehicle damage was done to the roof. The company has liability insurance but his boss refuses to make a claim due to the fact that his premium will go up. The owner gave my husband the option to pay repair fees for the vehicle or get fired for gross negligence. Is this allowed?

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes it is allowed. While his employer cannot simply deduct the cost of the damage from your husband's paychecks (at least without a prior agreement to do so) it can terminate his employment. That fact is that an employer can hire or fire and set any other term or condition of the workplace as it sees fit. An employee, can choose to work for a certain employer or not. This is called "at will" employment.

So unless his treatment is the result of discrimination, or there is a union/employment agreement or company policy to the contrary, his employer's action is perfectly legal (unfair but legal). This is true whether or not his employer decides not to notify his insurer of the accident and make a claim; it is under no legal obligation to do so.


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