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 point. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has particularly outlined as impermissible to use as a basis for employee termination.
Employment not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to know the classification of your work setup. Arrangements for employment that are under a defined term contract are not "at will", and can only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in North Carolina?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a North Carolina employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a certain race, nationality, religion or gender. A Raleigh employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a form of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, 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 may not terminate 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?
Attorneys in Raleigh, North Carolina may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in preparing the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.