The majority of employment relationships in Rhode Island fall into the category of "at-will" employment. This form of setup means that either employer or the employee is free to end the employment at any time they desire. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment can not be terminated in a manner that breaks the law.
Employment arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is essential that you know how your work setup is classified. Usually, if your employment arrangement was for a set term, it is not "at will", and the employment can only be terminated according to procedure contained in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Rhode Island?
In a Rhode Island at-will employment, discrimination is the most common unlawful ground for terminating an employee. Termination by an employer cannot be done on the basis of race, nationality, gender, or religion. A Narragansett 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.
Moreover, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated 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 Rhode Island Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Narragansett, Rhode Island attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in collecting the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.