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 general exception in "at-will" employment arrangements is that the termination may not be done for reasons which violate the law.
Employment that is not considered "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions, however, and so it is essential to discover whether your employment is so classified. Arrangements for employment that are under a defined term contract are not "at will", and can only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Tennessee?
Regarding terminating a Tennessee employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a specific race, religion, gender, or nationality. An employer in Shelby County also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or initiating an investigation of 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, employers cannot terminate employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Tennessee Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Shelby County, 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.