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. A Galax employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the 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. Finally, employers may not fire 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?
A local Galax, Virginia attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.