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 arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is important 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 Virginia?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in Virginia. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An employer in Fairfax 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.
Additionally, 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 Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local Fairfax County, Virginia 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.