What is wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination is the termination of an employee without just cause. Wrongful termination is illegal in the state of Virginia. Wrongful termination actions can be pursued if an employee is terminated without legal cause. However, in all states (including Virginia), private-sector employees are considered “at-will” employees. “At-will” employees can be fired at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all, making wrongful termination seem like an impossible case.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to the “at-will” sector, and our lawyers are here to help in wrongful termination cases.
Exceptions to the “at-will” sector:
Discriminatory reasons. It is illegal for employers to fire employees based on race, color, sex, origin, marital status, religion, age, pregnancy, or genetic information. If an employee feels his employer has committed wrongful termination due to discrimination, the employer may be sued for wrongful termination.
Violation of employment contract. Contracts are legally binding documents that cannot be broken. If an employee has signed a contract promising job security the employee is no longer considered “at-will”, and the employer must adhere to all contract guidelines. If the employer chooses to fire an employee without good cause, this is a breach of contract and considered wrongful termination.
Exercising employee rights. Employees are entitled to take sick, personal, or family leave. If the employer refuses to let the employee take this leave or does not allow the employee to come back to work after taking leave, this is wrongful termination.
Refusing to perform an illegal action. An employee can not be asked to commit anything illegal. If an employee is fired for not committing illegal action upon request, they have been wrongfully terminated.
When is a lawsuit appropriate for wrongful termination?
In all the above cases, wrongful termination can end in a civil lawsuit filed against the employer. If an employee has feelings of wrongful termination, the first step is to contact a Virginia employment lawyer immediately. With the help of a lawyer, an employee can file a lawsuit, get their job back, and assert legal rights.
When facing wrongful termination in the state of Virginia it is important to seek legal counsel.
If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, FIDE Law is accepting new clients. Please call or contact our office so one of our representatives can help you with your case.