The majority of employment relationships in Tennessee 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 not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to know the classification of your work setup. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work agreement, 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 Tennessee?
Discrimination is the most common unlawful grounds for terminating an employee in Tennessee. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An Athens 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. Lastly, employers may not terminate workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a Tennessee Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Athens, Tennessee 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.