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 essential that you know how your work setup is 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 Virginia?
In a Virginia at-will employment, discrimination is the most common unlawful ground for terminating an employee. Termination by an employer cannot be done on the basis of race, nationality, gender, or religion. An Orange 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. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Orange, Virginia 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.