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 starting an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Durham 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 are prevented from firing an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a North Carolina Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Durham, North Carolina may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.