Is it legal for the local department of human services to require my employer to fire me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for the local department of human services to require my employer to fire me?

I started a job as the program director for a small privately owned daycare. I met all of the requirements for the job. I do have a criminal record, mostly from over 15 years ago. However, I was able to pass all of my required child clearances for the job. I was honest with the owner from day one about my past. I was an addict but did a 6 month intensive program, successfully completed all probation, returned to school and graduated with distinction and my degree. I’ve been clean and sober. I’ve worked hard to be where I’m at. The only other thing on my record is from 2 1/2 years ago after my infant son passed away. I’ve been at this job for a month. The owner loves me and says that I’ve done more as their director in 1 month than anyone else in the position has ever done. Am inspector from the DHS has been coming to the facility regularly for surprise inspections and recently told the owner that she suggested she fire me due to my record. The owner told the inspector that she wasn’t comfortable with that, that I wad a great employee. Furthermore, just to be extra safe.. I have no access to funds at the facility. The finances are somebody else’s job. I’m not even in the same office as the money. After 2 weeks not knowing what was going on, the inspector called the owner and told her that she had to fire me or she would receive a citation and be shut down. I know that I made mistakes in the past but I paid the price and have worked hard to move forward in a

positive direction. How can they require the owner fire me if I’ve done nothing wrong, meet all requirements, pass my child clearances, do the job very well and the owner wants me there?

Asked on December 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The owner choose to fire you when faced with the department's criticism--she did not have to, but could have chosen to fight it. However, as stated, she did not--she chose to fire you--and that is her right: all employment is employment at will (unless you had a written employment contract which by its plain terms prevented your termination), which means that your employer may terminate you at any time, for any reason whatoever, and you have no right to your job or recourse for being terminated. Unless you had a written employment contract which you can enforce, there is nothing to do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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