Virginia Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Losing your job is extremely stressful. Your financial situation could be sent into disarray and you may be confused about why you were terminated. You might be curious about whether you have a legal basis for filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. While Virginia is an at-will state—meaning employers may fire their employees for any reason—you may be eligible to pursue compensation if your rights were violated.
To find out if your rights were violated when you lost your job, get in touch with a Virginia wrongful termination lawyer. A qualified employment attorney could look at the facts of your case, determine whether your employer broke the law when letting you go, and fight for compensation for your losses. No matter if your employer is as large as the federal government, an attorney could help you fight a wrongful dismissal from your job.
At-Will Employment and Wrongful Dismissal
Just because Virginia is an at-will employment state, such that employers could fire employees at any time and for almost any reason, does not mean every termination is legal. Legal reasons for letting an employee go include:
- Performance problems, such as lack of productivity
- Excessive time off
- Criminal action
- Violation of company policies
- Budget changes
- Poor employment fit and personality conflicts
- No reason at all
There are still specific reasons an employee cannot be terminated. These include discriminatory practices or as punishment for protected employee action. It may be beneficial for you to discuss any loss of employment with a detail-oriented attorney in Virginia to understand the basis of wrongful dismissal and the potential for legal action.
When Is It Unlawful to Terminate an Employee in Virginia?
While employers in Virginia are legally allowed to fire their employees for any reason, without notice, it is still illegal to fire an employee for discriminatory reasons. This means that employers may not fire an employee based on their race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, disability, marital status, or citizenship. It is important to realize, that these laws only apply to employers with a certain number of employees. Other illegal reasons for letting go of an employee in Virginia include:
- Reporting harassment
- Taking time off to vote
- Military service
Employers also cannot terminate an employee if it violates public policy. This means that a company cannot let someone go for activities such as obeying the law, refusing to commit a crime, filing a workers’ compensation claim, or complying with jury duty. A Virginia attorney with experience handling wrongful firing could determine whether your employer qualifies and whether wrongful dismissal could lead to a potential lawsuit.
Potential Compensation from a Wrongful Termination Claim
If an employer wrongfully terminates their employees, they may be required to pay fines. The court may also ask the employer to compensate the former employee for lost wages and emotional distress, or to reinstate the employee with back pay. In some cases, an employer may also choose to negotiate a severance package. A Virginia attorney could look over any severance package you are offered to ensure it is in your interest following a wrongful termination.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful firing claim varies based on the reason for the illegal termination. Consequently, it is often vital to have an experienced attorney look over a claim and help identify why someone was let go. For termination based on discrimination, employees must file their claims within 300 days. However, when a firing violates public policy, terminated employees have two years to file their lawsuits.
A Virginia Wrongful Termination Lawyer Could Be an Advocation
You may be confused and scared about your future after you are let go. If you believe you were illegally fired, a Virginia wrongful termination lawyer could help review your case. Even if you are facing wrongful termination claims against the federal government, a seasoned lawyer could represent you in court, work to demonstrate illegal firing, and help you achieve a favorable outcome. To have our attorneys review your wrongful dismissal, click here to use our free online Case Assessment Calculator and learn more about your potential legal claim.