Wrongful Termination in Virginia
Wrongful termination in Virginia occurs when an employee is fired for reasons that are prohibited by state or federal government, such as discrimination. Employees are protected from wrongful dismissal by equal opportunity laws established by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) and upheld by state and Federal courts. If you were wrongfully terminated in VA, you have the right to file a complaint with these agencies and potentially pursue additional legal action against your former employer.
Determining exactly what is a wrongful termination is important because Virginia is an at-will employment state. With very limited exceptions, at-will employment means that employers may legally terminate employees for any reason at any time as long as that reason is not discrimination or retaliation. If there is no reason to believe you were wrongfully fired from job duties, your employer is not required to give any explanation for termination.
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws in Virginia courts have established that an employee is wrongfully terminated from job responsibilities if his or her termination was based on your age, sex, religion, race, national origin or disability. If you filed a safety complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and were fired as a result, you may also have a wrongful termination case in Virginia. You cannot be legally terminated in retribution for reporting legal or ethical violations to your employer or other authorities.
If you believe you were wrongfully fired in Virginia, you can file a complaint with the EEOC or the Division of Human Rights within the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. Depending on their determination, you may also take legal action and seek reparations from your former employer. The timeframe during which you can report a wrongful termination in VA is limited and can vary by reason for discrimination. Therefore, you should file your wrongful termination claim as soon as you know the action you will take and consultation before filing a claim is available from the EEOC.
Legal and Illegal Terminations in Virginia
There are many types of legal termination in Virginia because Virginia is an at-will employment state. In at-will states, most terminations are based on legal reasons to fire an employee, as long as there is no suspicion of discrimination or retaliation in the termination. Types of legal termination of employment in VA include mass layoffs, facility closings or reductions in force. Illegal termination or wrongful termination occurs when you are terminated because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex, disability or veteran status, race, national origin or religion or out of retribution for reporting a safety, legal or ethical issue in the workplace. Read More
At-Will Employment and Exceptions in Virginia
To understand at will employment exceptions in Virginia, residents must first be aware of the 200-year at-will employment doctrine established in the United States. Major exceptions to at will employment are up to state acceptance, and these exceptions have greatly changed the employment landscape for both employers and employees. In this article, you will learn the three most important exceptions to at will employment and which of the three the state of Virginia recognizes. Read More
How to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in Virginia
You should consider filing a charge of discrimination in Virginia if you have been terminated from employment for reasons based on your protected personal characteristics or in retaliation for making a complaint. You can file a wrongful termination discrimination charge with either the Virginia Division of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Time limits exist regarding how long you have to file a so it is important that you be aware of the laws that apply to your particular case. However, Virginia workers should be aware of what is considered a wrongful termination before filing a claim. Read More