Employment in the state of North Carolina is mostly considered to be "at-will" employment. "At will" means that for any reason, both the employer or the worker may end the work relationship at any time. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has specifically outlined as impermissible to use as a basis for employee termination.
It is important 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. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work arrangements, then employment is not "at will", and termination can only be done following the terms of the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in North Carolina?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in North Carolina. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Durham County employer.
Additionally, employers are prohibited by the Family and Medical Leave act from firing those employees who take leave in order to address family or medical concerns. 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 North Carolina Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Durham County, North Carolina 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.