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 critical to discover whether your employment is so 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 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 barred from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, 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 Martinsburg employer.
Additionally, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a West Virginia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Martinsburg, 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.