Wrongful Termination

Firing an employee for illegal reasons is called “wrongful termination” or “wrongful discharge”. Employees may be entitled to bring a lawsuit if an illegal firing occurs.

Wrongful Termination in North Carolina

Most employees in North Carolina and throughout the United States are “at will” employees. That means you can leave your job for any reason you choose, just as your employer can let you go from your job with or without cause.

 What your employer cannot do, however, is fire you from your job for illegal reasons, such as discrimination, retaliation, or for refusing to break the law.

What counts as “Wrongful” Firing?

The law prohibits your employer from firing you for any reason that is against the public policy of the state. The courts have elected not to specifically define what counts as wrongful termination in order to remain flexible enough to cover new situations that are abhorrent to public welfare.

 If you were fired for any of the following reasons, you may be entitled to bring a lawsuit for wrongful termination:

What to do if You Suspect Wrongful Termination

If you are still employed and have raised any wrongful termination issues, you may already have a sense that you are in danger of losing your job and your labor rights may be violated. Contact an employment lawyer while you are still employed. 

There may be important steps you need to take while still employed in order to ensure you are protected. There are also specific measures experienced attorneys can take to counter a company’s attempt to wrongfully fire you or retaliate against you.

How long do I have to act?

North Carolina House Bill 2 temporarily eliminated the ability of employees to bring many types of claims for wrongful discharge. After months of public outcry, the State restored the right to bring such actions, but dramatically cut the time in which employees have to act and file a lawsuit.

You should contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible following a termination you believe to have been wrongful in order to comply with this new law.

Wrongful Termination at Van Kampen Law

Read Articles related to wrongful termination

Step Into My Office, You’re Fired

This may sound familiar to some of you: you’re diligently preparing for a routine evaluation with your boss. You step into their office and an HR rep is there too. What’s going on? Your boss is terminating you. On this episode of Walking Papers podcast, Attorney Josh Van Kampen takes us inside the mind of your company and tells you not only what to expect during a termination meeting, but how to be prepared, how to conduct yourself, what to do, and what not to do, after a termination meeting.
Workers question whether they were fired illegally during COVID-19 pandemic

Workers question whether they were fired illegally during COVID-19 pandemic

A WBTV Investigation is looking at whether companies can fire employees for taking sick time during the COVID-19 pandemic. An employee at a dental office received a doctor’s note saying she should be quarantined for 14 days awaiting results from a coronavirus test. She was fired the next day.

LGBT Community Awaits Supreme Court’s Direction on Employment Protections

It’s hard to believe that after all the progress that we have made as a country toward improving individual rights, one could be legally fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet, this can, and has still happened.