The majority of employment relationships in Rhode Island fall into the category of "at-will" employment. This type 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 may not be terminated in a manner that violates the law.
Employment arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is crucial that you know how your work setup is classified. Generally, 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?
Regarding terminating a Rhode Island employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a certain race, religion, gender, or nationality. Smithfield employers are further prohibited from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Also, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Lastly, an employer may not fire 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 Smithfield, Rhode Island lawyers can properly 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.