In order to attempt to overcome the employment at will doctrine, Pennsylvania employees have argued that the terms of an employee handbook are enforceable as provisions of an implied contract. Some Pennsylvania courts have ruled that certain terms of an employee handbook are enforceable against an employer if a reasonable person in the employee's position would interpret the handbook’s provisions as evidencing the employer's intent to supplant the employment at will doctrine and that an employer instead intends to be bound legally by the employer’s representations in the employee handbook. As such, for an employee handbook to bind the employer, the handbook must contain a clear indication that the employer intends to overcome the employment at will presumption. In many instances employee handbooks contain an affirmative statement that nothing contained within the handbook supplants the employment at will doctrine, which effectively precludes interpreting the handbook as an implied contract. However, if an employee handbook does not contain language making it clear that the handbook does not supplant the employment at will doctrine; the employee handbook may be found to create an implied contract.
In the event that you believe that in terminating your employment an employer has violated their terms of an employee handbook and the handbook does not contain an affirmative statement that nothing contained within the handbook supplants the employment at will doctrine, there may be a breach of an implied contract and you should consult an attorney to review the handbook and the circumstances surrounding the termination of your employment in order to determine if you have a cause of action.
We often successfully represent employees when their employers have breached an employment contract. Call Abramson Employment Law at 267-470-4742 or contact us online to discuss your legal options for a breach of contract claim.