The majority of employment relationships in Virginia 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. In "at will" employment, the only general exception is that the reasons for termination must not be illegal or in violation of the law.
Employment that does not fall into the category of "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions. Therefore, it is important that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work arrangements, 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 Virginia?
Regarding terminating a Virginia 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 also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Alexandria employer.
Further, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Alexandria, Virginia lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the proper information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.