The majority of employment relationships in Virginia 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. In "at will" employment, the only basic 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 critical 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 Virginia?
Discrimination is the most common unlawful grounds for terminating an employee in Virginia. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. A Fredericksburg 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.
Also, 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 Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, a lawyer will be able to notify you about whether you are a victim of wrongful termination, and they will be able to guide you in preparing the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.