Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Wizard Will See You Today - Anyone Can File a Lawsuit


In Pennsylvania, Anyone is Allowed to File a Lawsuit for Any Reason

To a lawyer, what I am about to say is axiomatic.

For most of my clients, what I am about to say causes an "Aha" moment.

Here we go:

1) No Civil Police
The Police Will Not Stop...

Fact:  There are no civil police that you can call if you believe you are being subjected to behavior that is unlawful according to civil laws.

...this Type of Behavior
Meaning....? If you are being harassed at work, or threatened with a baseless lawsuit by your former employer, you cannot call anyone to make your antagonist stop what he/she is doing. 

Compare:  If a burglar is in your house, and you call the police, they will (hopefully!) come immediately to stop the crime.




2) No Bar to Door to Court


Unlike the Wizard, the Courts Accept all Callers
One files a lawsuit by walking into a courthouse, paying a fee and filing a Complaint.  No one reviews the Complaint to see if it is worthwhile or sound before it is filed.  If you have a Complaint, and have a check, the lawsuit will be filed - every time.






3) What Does This Mean to Me?

Civil disputes are best worked out prior to the filing of a lawsuit.  If they cannot be worked out, no one can stop another person from filing a lawsuit, no matter what the circumstances.

So....

If you are being treated unfairly at work, there are strategies you can employ to remedy the situation, but there is no "authority figure" that you can call that will make your employer stop what it is doing.  In many such situations, the smart thing to do is to retain an attorney, and then develop and execute a sound strategy that you protect all of your rights to remedies such as unemployment compensation, severance, COBRA, a lawsuit alleging discrimination, etc., etc.

NOTE: There is a process called an injunction proceeding that can be utilized via the filing of a lawsuit wherein one asks that the offensive behavior be stopped.  However, such suits can be quite expensive.

If you are being threatened with a lawsuit for violating a non-compete agreement, there is no one that you can call to examine the matter and determine who is right/wrong and whether a lawsuit is appropriate.  Rather, you must try and work it out yourself or, perhaps more prudently, via counsel.

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave…

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues…

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

Thanks for checking in with us.



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