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Exceptions to At Will Employment

At Will Employment
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West Virginia is an "at will" employment state.  However, there are exceptions to the "at will" employment doctrine.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of exceptions to the "at will" employment doctrine:

1.  If the termination violates a "substantial public policy."  Over the years, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has authored many opinions on what does and what does not constitute "substantial public policy."  Here are a few examples, of what does constitute "substantial public policy."  (i) Refusal to take a lie detector test. (ii) It is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee who exercised certain rights afforded to veterans.  (iii) Refusing to operate a truck with unsafe brakes.  (iv) Giving truthful testimony in a legal proceeding.  

2.  An employee cannot be fired because of AGE.

3.  An employee cannot be fired because of RACE. 

4.  An employee cannot be fired because of RELIGION.

5.  An employee cannot be fired because of NATIONAL ORIGIN.  

6.  An employee cannot be fired because of GENDER. 

7.  An employee cannot be fired because of FAMILIAL STATUS.

8.  The Family Medical Leave Act can provide protections to an employee who is fired because he/she took FMLA leave. 

Remember, the above list and this blog is only for illustrative purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice.  If you have been fired from work, consult an attorney for legal advise on your particular situation.  Sam Madia of Shaffer Madia Law would be happy to provide you a free legal consultation for your particular situation.  

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