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 "at-will" employment is that the employment may not be terminated in a manner that violates the law.
Employment that is not considered "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions, however, and so it is crucial to discover whether your employment is so classified. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work arrangements, 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?
Regarding terminating a West 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 in Kanawha County 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, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. 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 West Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Kanawha County, West Virginia attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.