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Were You Wrongfully Terminated?

In West Virginia, employment is considered “at will,” meaning that either employee or employer can part ways with the other for nearly any reason.

Nearly any reason. There are certain circumstances by which a termination is wrongful and unlawful, and in those situations, the employee has rights.

  • If you have been fired because of your age, religion, gender or the color of your skin, it is a wrongful termination.
  • If you were let go because you blew the whistle on illegal workplace activities, it is a wrongful termination.
  • If your employer terminated your employment because you sought or accepted workers’ compensation benefits, it was a wrongful termination.
  • If your employer fired you after you reported sexual harassment or because you would not engage in sexual misconduct, it was a wrongful termination.

It can be difficult to know whether your termination was legal or illegal. After all, employers are not going to tell you that they fired you for an unlawful reason.

Wrongful Termination In West Virginia: Frequently Asked Questions

The more you know about your rights as an employee, the better. As such, we are happy to provide the following questions that our firm hears most frequently:

What is considered wrongful termination under West Virginia law?

If you are an at-will employee, your employer does not necessarily need to give you a reason when firing you. However, this doesn’t mean the employer can fire you for any reason. If it is an illegal reason, then you may be able to take legal action. Examples of illegal reasons to fire someone include retaliation for whistleblower complaints, firings that violate an employment contract or terminations based on a protected class, such as age, race, religion, gender, national origin and more.

How can I prove that my termination was unlawful or discriminatory?

In some cases, you may have direct evidence, such as email messages, text messages or verbal statements made by your boss, indicating why you were fired. But you may also need external evidence, such as a pattern of behavior. For instance, even if your boss never says you are being fired because of your race, if all other workers of the same race are also terminated, the pattern shows it may be illegal.

What are my rights in West Virginia if I’ve been wrongfully terminated?

You may be able to sue your former employer. In some cases, workers seek to get their jobs back. But many workers would rather move on, so they are just seeking appropriate compensation while they look for another job.

What kind of compensation might I be entitled to if I have been wrongfully terminated?

Compensation can begin with earnings that you have lost. This could include unpaid wages, lost commissions and more. If you get a new job with lower pay, you may deserve compensation for a reduction in wages. You also want to consider out-of-pocket expenses, lost benefits and even emotional distress.

Talk To An Attorney Who Can Help

This is why it is so important to talk to an attorney who is experienced handling wrongful discharge claims.

At Bouchillon Crossan & Colburn, L.C., in Huntington, we can help you understand your rights and options. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling wrongful termination claims and other employment law matters in West Virginia.

Were you fired for illegal reasons? Talk to a lawyer who can protect your rights. You can contact our law offices online or by telephone at 304-521-4636.