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.
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. 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?
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. An employer in Wake Forest also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or seeking an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. 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?
A local Wake Forest, 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.