In Alabama, most employment is considered "at will". This type of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment may not be terminated in a manner that violates the law.
It is crucial that you find out what type of employment your work is classified as, because employment that is not considered to be "at will" is subject to different restrictions. Usually, if your employment arrangement was for a set term, it is not "at will", and the employment can only be terminated according to procedure contained in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Alabama?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in Alabama. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. A Opelika employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Alabama Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Opelika, Alabama attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.