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 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. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract provisions.
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 in Mecklenburg County also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or prompting an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, 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. 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 North Carolina Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, a lawyer will be able to notify you about whether you are a victim of wrongful termination, and they will be able to guide you in gathering the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.