Wrongful discharge arises when an employee is discharged from employment in violation of public policy. In Pennsylvania, public policy can be found in laws and regulations. For example, the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act is a source of public policy. It allows employees to file for worker’s compensation. If an employee is terminated from employment after seeking worker’s compensation, it can give rise to a violation of public policy and wrongful discharge claim. Another source of public policy are state criminal laws. If an employee is terminated because the employee refuses to commit a crime, it can give rise to a wrongful discharge claim.
cases arise under federal or state laws. In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Whistleblower law protects employees from being terminated if the employee complains of wrongdoing or waste. Whistleblower laws tend to provide broader protection to employees than common law wrongful discharge protections.