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 particular race, nationality, religion or gender. A Waynesville employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Lastly, employees are protected from being fired by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a North Carolina Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Waynesville, 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.