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. Employers in Suffolk may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or initiated an investigation into discrimination.
Moreover, 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, an employer may not terminate 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?
Attorneys in Suffolk, Virginia may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in collecting the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.