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 point and leave the employment organization. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment can not be terminated in a manner that breaks the law.
Employment that is not considered "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions, however, and so it is essential to discover whether your employment is so classified. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work agreement, then employment is not "at will", and termination can only be done following the terms of the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in West Virginia?
Discrimination is the most common unlawful grounds for terminating an employee in West Virginia. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An Elkins employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a form of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, 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 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 West Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Elkins, West Virginia attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in collecting the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.