West Virginia Wrongful Termination
If you’ve been fired from your job, you may feel that it wasn’t justified — but does that mean it was wrongful termination? West Virginia, like most states, is an “at-will” employment state, which means an employer can dismiss a worker for nearly any reason, or for no reason at all.
But there are some exceptions to this rule, and some layoffs do constitute wrongful termination. In these cases, the laid-off employee should contact an attorney as soon as possible to see if they can file a lawsuit to recover lost wages, benefits, and other damages.
If you were wrongfully terminated, you could be owed significant compensation from your former employer. These cases are time-sensitive, so don’t wait to find out. Contact us today.
What Is Wrongful Termination in West Virginia?
As an at-will state, most firings in West Virginia don’t break the law, even if they’re unfair. But some layoffs cross the line, violating either state laws or federal statutes. Here are some situations in which a dismissal may constitute wrongful termination:
- Discrimination: Many federal employment laws protect employees on the basis of sex, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, country of origin, parental status, veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, and other characteristics. Workers who are fired because of discrimination against these traits may be able to file wrongful termination lawsuits, but only if their employers have 12 or more employees.
- Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an employer fires a worker for refusing to perform illegal tasks such as falsifying records or committing perjury, for blowing the whistle on unlawful conduct, for filing a Human Resources complaint about unethical acts, or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In these and similar scenarios, the employee may be able to pursue a wrongful termination case.
- Breach of contract: In West Virginia, if an employee has a written or oral contract that guarantees employment for a stated period of time, and their employer breaks that contract, the employee may be able to file a lawsuit.
- Violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA guarantees unpaid time off when one is caring for a newborn, for a seriously ill family member, or for their own severe medical condition. Workers who are fired for taking this time off may be able to hold their employers accountable through a lawsuit.
- Jury Duty: Employees are entitled to unpaid leave to serve jury duty. If their employer punishes or dismisses them for fulfilling their civic obligation, a worker may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages.
How Do I File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?
If you think you were a victim of wrongful termination, you should speak with a labor and employment attorney in West Virginia to determine if you’re owed compensation. Morgan & Morgan is America’s largest personal injury law firm, which means we have the resources and reputation to take on any company and win. Over the past 30 years, we’ve recovered more than $9 billion for hardworking people who were wronged or exploited.
Consultations are free, and it costs nothing up front to hire us — in fact, we get paid only if you win. To see if our attorneys can help you, fill out this form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.