Can I be fired for not being “a good fit”?

I was terminated due to “not a good fit”. I was not given any “counseling” or indication of unsatisfactory performance prior to termination. When I asked my employer to view copies of my counseling notices, I was told that it is company property and I am not allowed to see them. Is this legal in the state of Pennsylvania?

Posted  08-19-2015

Ann Kiernan replies:

At-will employment, which is the law in Pennsylvania and every other state except Montana, allows employers to terminate workers for any reason—or no reason at all—except for an illegal reason, such as discrimination or retaliation for whistleblowing. “Not a good fit” is not an illegal reason.

But, you do have a right to see your personnel file under the Pennsylvania Personnel Files Act, including “any application for employment, wage or salary information, notices of commendations, warning or discipline, authorization for a deduction or withholding of pay, fringe benefit information, leave records, employment history with the employer, including salary information, job title, dates of changes, retirement record, attendance records and performance evaluations.”

You may want to speak to a local employment law attorney to learn more about your rights. If you do not know one, you can contact your local county bar association, or use the Find A Lawyer service of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Good luck.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.