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?
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 Whiteville employer.
Additionally, 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 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?
A local Whiteville, 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.