By: Nathan Brown
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Has your employment been wrongfully terminated?
Being terminated from employment is an unpleasant situation. Often times, emotions are elevated, and as such, many employees believe they have been “wrongfully terminated.” So, one is left to ask, what is a wrongful termination? In it most simple terms, a wrongful termination requires that you be fired for an illegal reason. The reasons could relate to antidiscrimination laws or violations or public policy. Most employees in West Virginia are “at-will” employees and can be terminated for any reason, whether that reason is a good or bad one. Termination can occur with or without notice. However, you cannot be terminated for a discriminatory reason.
Most discriminatory terminations revolve around employees being members of a protected class. Termination of employment based on your race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy, or age or other legally protected categories is illegal. The West Virginia Human Rights Act provides those protections to employees in West Virginia. If you are successful in prosecuting those claims, you may be awarded your attorney fees and cost as well.
If you believe you have been discriminated against at work for an illegal reason, you should immediately contact an attorney who practices employment law. Often times, these cases are complex and will require an attorney who understands employment law. As an employee, it is important you know your rights, as well as those of the employer. It makes the employment relationship much easier.