At-will employment is not a license to discriminate.

If you have been fired from your employment because of some discriminatory motive, based upon your age, race, color, gender, national origin, religion, disability, then you may have a claim for discriminatory wrongful termination. Generally, if you were employed in an “at will” employment state, like West Virginia, that means that your employer may fire you or you may quit at any time, without notice, and with or without good cause. However, you may have additional protection afforded by a contract, like being a civil servant or a statutorily protected employee. It is also unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee for improper discriminatory motives, for whistleblowing or in violation of public policy.

West Virginia is an at-will employment state, but affords employees protection against wrongful discharge on the basis of discrimination or in retaliation for whistleblowing. West Virginia also protects employees from termination, where the purpose of the firing is against a substantial public policy, as set forth in an applicable law or regulation.

Keep in mind, not all employment discrimination leads to a person being fired. In some instances, employers make the workplace so hostile that employees simply cannot tolerate it any longer. A constructive discharge occurs when an employee has no choice but to leave their workplace because of the toxic environment, due to harassment on the basis of sex, race, or religion or the like.  Your employer may have tried to force you out of the workplace because you reported unlawful behavior to authorities, filed a workers’ compensation claim, reported discrimination to your supervisors or objected to wage violation laws.

At Preston & Salango, we represent employees who have unlawfully been terminated with or without cause. If you have a wrongful discharge or constructive discharge matter that you need evaluated, contact the competent trial attorneys at Preston & Salango for a free consultation on your case.