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 North Providence 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.
Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Finally, an employer may not terminate an employee for refusing to do something illegal, for exercising a legal right, or performing a legal obligation.
Do I Need a Rhode Island Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local North Providence, Rhode Island lawyers can thoroughly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.