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. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined 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. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Staunton employer.
Additionally, employers are prohibited by the Family and Medical Leave act from firing those employees who take leave in order to address family or medical concerns. Finally, employers cannot terminate employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
In Staunton, 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 collecting the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.