Losing your job is a threat to your financial well-being, and depending on why you lost your job, it could impact your future job opportunities as well. If you believe the reason for your termination was unjust, it may be worthwhile to carefully examine your circumstances in order to determine if you could be a victim of wrongful termination. If so, this could be grounds to pursue legal action.
Terminating an employee on the basis of race, gender, age and other factors is unacceptable and unlawful. It is not always easy to determine if your termination was valid, but you have the right to seek an understanding of what counts as wrongful termination and how you can hold liable parties accountable. There are several factors that can determine how employers can handle termination decisions and the rights of employees in these situations.
Important factors for your consideration
In order to determine whether you have grounds for a wrongful termination claim, it will be helpful to take a careful look at the following factors that could impact the outcome of a potential civil claim:
- West Virginia is an at-will employment state, which means employers may be able to fire an employee for nearly any reason.
- When discrimination is a factor in an employment decision, it is wrongful termination.
- Your employer is bound by the terms of a contract, including any verbal agreements made.
- Employers cannot fire you for reporting illegal activity in the workplace or filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Your employer cannot fire you for taking your rightful time off under the Family Medical Leave Act.
- Employers must follow written procedures for disciplinary action and termination proceedings.
- An employer cannot terminate an employee for refusing or failing to perform illegal acts.
Even in an at-will employment state, employers cannot violate the rights of employees when it comes to termination or other types of employment decisions. If you believe that you could be a victim of wrongful termination, it is in your interests to take immediate action to learn about the specific legal options available to you. These cases are time-sensitive, and it is wise to move quickly to understand what damages you may be able to claim through a wrongful discharge claim filed against your employer.