Most employment in Massachusetts considered to be "at-will". This means that either the employer or employee can terminate the employment at any given moment, and for any reason. The only basic exception in "at-will" employment arrangements is that the termination may not be done for reasons which violate the law.
Employment not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to learn the classification of your work setup. 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 Massachusetts?
In the state of Massachusetts, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are prohibited from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. A Plymouth County 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.
Further, 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. Finally, employers may not fire workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a Massachusetts Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Plymouth County, Massachusetts 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.