A wrongful dismissal from employment can have devastating consequences for the unjustly fired employee. Wrongfully terminated workers may be able to seek financial reparations or a reversal of the termination. However, before seeking justice for wrongful termination in West Virginia, terminated employees should review valid causes of actions for legal pursuit first. Employees wrongfully terminated from jobs need to prove their employer violated a law by terminating their employment.
Reviewing what is wrongful termination and the state’s employment laws will help a fired employee learn if he or she truly experienced a wrongful termination. Unlawful termination in WV occurs when an employer breaks a law when firing an employee, such as breaking a contract or discriminating against the worker. Employees wrongfully fired from jobs will need to follow the steps to filing a claim if they desire legal action. To learn what to do after being wrongfully fired in West Virginia, examine the following sections:
- Types of illegal termination in West Virginia
- Types of legal termination in West Virginia
- At-will employment exceptions in West Virginia
- File a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in West Virginia
- File a lawsuit against your employer in West Virginia
West Virginia Unemployment Resources
Types of Illegal Termination in West Virginia
When types of illegal terminations of employment occur, employees have the right to file a claim and pursue legal justice against the offending employer. These types of illegal firing usually involve discrimination or retaliation against an employee. Discriminatory types of illegal terminations in West Virginia occur when an employer fires an employee due to characteristics of gender, race, disability, age, religion or veteran status. Types of unlawful terminations that violate retaliation laws include firing employees because they are receiving company benefits or have filed a claim or complaint against the employer. There are also types of illegal dismissal of employment that involve breaching a contract or violating a public policy. When these types of unlawful terminations from employment occur, the employee has a legitimate cause of action to pursue a lawsuit against the previous employer.
Types of Legal Termination in West Virginia
Employees should be aware of the legal reasons for terminating employees in West Virginia before automatically assuming their dismissal is wrongful. These types of legal termination of employment make filing a claim against a previous employer invalid for pursuit. Employers can use types of legal firings such as when an employee displays poor performance on the job or reaches the end of a contract. Additional types of legal dismissal of employment happen when a company lets an employee go because of layoffs or the closing of the business. These types of legal termination in West Virginia are lawful and valid reasons for firing employees, so no wrongful termination claims or lawsuits can be initiated against these former employers.
At-Will Employment Exceptions in West Virginia
“What is employment at will?” is a common question from recently terminated employees. Aside from different exceptions to at-will employment law in each state, the at-will employment doctrine affirms the at-will relationship between worker and employer in at-will states that allows either party to terminate the association at any time, for any reason within the confines of federal and state law. Is West Virginia an at will state? Besides the at will employment exceptions in West Virginia, the state recognizes the voluntary employment agreement.
The at-will employment exceptions in West Virginia that accompany the at-will employment law include the public-policy exception (employers cannot fire workers if it violates a public policy) and the implied-contract exception (employers cannot terminate workers with a verbal, written or inferred contract without just cause). One of the exceptions to at-will employment not recognized in the state is the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception (an employer must always act fairly and with good intentions when dealing with employees).
File a Discrimination Charge With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in West Virginia
To file a wrongful termination discrimination charge effectively, you must first submit your claim details to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the occurrence. When filing a charge of discrimination in West Virginia, the EEOC will first screen your claim to be sure there is a valid case that requires investigation. The process for how to file an EEOC employment discrimination claim will continue after the agency notifies your employer of your claim and asks for a statement about the occurrence within 10 days of receipt.
If you are wondering how to file a charge of employment discrimination and the potential outcomes of your claim, the EEOC may proceed in the following ways:
- Recommend a mediation program for you and your employer, so a settlement can be made in about three months
- Investigate and attempt a voluntary settlement with your former employer after approximately ten months of negotiations
- Grant you the “Notice of Right to Sue” your former employer, upon failure of the two above options
File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in West Virginia
Suing for wrongful termination in West Virginia is possible only after the EEOC grants you the Notice of Right to Sue. Before you file lawsuit against employers for wrongful termination, be sure you can clearly identify the law that your employer broke and how it affected your finances and professional career. When you file a lawsuit against your employer in West Virginia, you must provide evidence such as hiring and firing documentation as well as witness testimonials.
Terminated employees may wonder, “Can I file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and win the compensation I am asking for?” If you plan on filing a wrongful termination claim against employers, you should consider hiring a lawyer for your case. The process for how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit in WV can be lengthy and complicated without the help of an experienced attorney by your side.