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 crucial that you know how your work setup is classified. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination can only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Virginia?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a Virginia employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a particular race, nationality, religion or gender. Reston employers are further prohibited from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Furthermore, 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?
Reston, 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 required information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.