Most employment is labeled as "at-will" in the state of West Virginia. This means that an employer or employee is free to end the work relationship at any time and leave the employment organization. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has specifically outlined as impermissible to use as a basis for employee termination.
It is crucial that you find out what type of employment your work is classified as, because employment that is not considered to be "at will" is subject to different restrictions. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract provisions.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in West Virginia?
In the state of West Virginia, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are prohibited from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. An employer in Charleston also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or prompting an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, the Family and Medical leave act prohibits employers from firing employees for having taken leave for family or medical reasons. Finally, employers may not fire workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a West Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Charleston, West Virginia may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.