The Issue: At-Will Employment

Every state in the United States (except for Montana) uses an “at-will” employment policy. In short, “at-will” employment is defined as an employer having the ability to fire “any employee at any time for any reason, except for an illegal one”. So, what does this mean for employees in the state of West Virginia? Read on to find out.
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What The Law Says

We know that at-will employment basically gives employers the right to fire anyone at any time for any reason, but what reasons are considered “illegal”? Essentially, the law states that you cannot fire an employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, etc. Basically, that means that even though an employer can fire an “at will” worker at any time for any reason, the reason must be based on an employee’s work performance. Furthermore, if an employee is fired and suspects that it is due to one or more of these factors, they retain the right to legal action. Also, if an employee is fired without notice but their contract specifically states that a notice is required, they may still be able to press charges. Technically speaking, being terminated for an illegal reason is called “wrongful termination” and can be settled out in court.

What You Can Do

Sadly, if you were fired for any reason other than poor or inadequate performance at your job, you may have been wrongfully terminated. Although WV is an “at-will” employment state, there are ways you can protect yourself. If you fear that you or someone you know has been wrongfully terminated, you may be entitled to legal compensation. If you think you have the proper grounds for a lawsuit, you should seek professional legal counsel. However, here at Taylor & Hinkle we can help you understand whether or not you have been wrongfully terminated. Also, we can help you take legal action against an unfair employer.