There is much confusion over "at will" employment. At will employment
simply means that your employer does not need "cause" to terminate
your employment. That does not mean, however, that at will employees are
without rights. Even if you are an at-will employee, you still cannot
be fired for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law. In
these situations, the government has decided to make an exception to the
general rule of at-will employment. For example, if your employer is subject
to federal and state laws prohibiting job discrimination (as all but the
smallest employers are), you cannot be fired because of certain characteristics,
such as your age, race, religion, or gender. Similarly, you cannot be
fired because you have complained about illegal activity, about discrimination
or harassment, or about health and safety violations in the workplace.
And you cannot be fired for exercising a variety of legal rights, including
the right to take family and medical leave, to take leave to serve in
the military, or to take time off work to vote or serve on a jury.
If you have been terminated because of your age, race, gender, or religion,
or if you have been terminated for reporting safety concerns, you have
recourse. Contact Preston & Salango (wvlawyer.com) for a free consultation.