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?
Regarding terminating a Virginia employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a particular race, religion, gender, or nationality. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee starting an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Vienna employer.
Additionally, 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 are prevented from firing an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local Vienna, Virginia lawyers can properly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.