North Carolina Wrongful Termination Laws

Victims of potentially wrongful termination in North Carolina should know their options if they need to file a claim. Although emotionally devastating, if you believe that you were illegally fired, do not hesitate to act in determining if you have a case. A dedicated wrongful termination attorney can help you recognize whether your situation qualifies for legal assistance, then take the burden off of you by filing a case on your behalf.

Wrongful terminations are more common than many people realize. Anyone who has been let go in such a way that it breaches an employment contract, violates North Carolina or federal law, or that is a public policy exemption may have grounds for a wrongful termination legal action. If you believe that this happened to you, contact a Charlotte, NC, Wrongful termination attorney. We can answer your questions and help you understand your next steps.

What Happens When You’re Suddenly Laid Off?

North Carolina is what’s known as an “employment at will” state, which makes it critical to acquire legal counsel to navigate the circumstances of your termination and file a case on your behalf. A sudden firing may cause you to doubt your worth or second guess events leading up to the termination. While heartbreaking, it’s imperative to move quickly if you believe that you have a case.

Employment at will in North Carolina allows employers to fire an employee immediately, even without a reason. An experienced wrongful termination attorney can identify whether the circumstances surrounding your dismissal were based on protected factors such as race, nationality, religion, or gender. They can also look at other laws that protect against safety violations, discrimination, or harassment to see if they may apply to your situation. Our job is to determine if the reason for your termination has legal recourse, and if so, how to proceed.

Who Should I Call After a Wrongful Termination?

For victims of wrongful termination, the idea of filing a wrongful termination claim, revisiting the trauma of their termination, and potentially facing their former employer in court is stressful and intimidating. Maloney Law & Associates, PLLC, has served over 3,500 clients in 15 years. We understand the challenges that victims face and how to help ensure they are treated fairly by the legal system. Our legal team can provide guidance throughout the entire process, advocate for your legal rights, and offer you the opportunity to tell your story.

Will Filing a Claim Negatively Impact My Future?

People who have been wrongfully terminated often express concerns about their prospects for future employment and the effect that a wrongful termination may have on their reputation in their field.  The right attorney can help you face this illegal dismissal while protecting your skills, social standing, and future employability.

There may be other employees at your former workplace who wish to speak out about harassment or policy violations but are afraid to do so.  Know that you are doing the right thing by upholding the law, and your precedent will, in turn, encourage others to stand up to injustice in the workplace.

FAQs About North Carolina Wrongful Termination Laws

What Qualifies as Wrongful Termination in North Carolina?

North Carolina is an employment-at-will state, so an employer can dismiss an employee for any reason, provided that they do not specifically violate the employee’s contract. This includes legal protection if an employee terminates someone based on personal bias or discrimination of any kind. It is a clear case of wrongful termination if you are fired for the following reasons:

  • Disability
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Equal Employment (Race, Culture, Religion, Language)
  • Whistleblower Protection
  • WARN Act Violation (60-Day Notice Prior to Closing or Mass Layoff)

How Do I Know My Legal Rights in the Workplace?

Legal rights in North Carolina depend on whether the job is non-salary or salary. If it is salaried, you will have rights such as military leave, jury duty, worker’s compensation, and time off as provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you are a non-salary employee, expect to be paid at least the minimum wage, with the opportunity for overtime, and to work under safe conditions specified in the contract.

How Do I File a Wrongful Termination Claim in North Carolina?

Your first step is to gather documentation, including items such as performance reviews, contracts, and written or recorded communication between you and your employer. Once you’ve gathered relevant documents, contact a North Carolina wrongful termination attorney for a consultation.  Be prepared to answer questions about the termination and the events leading to it. If the consultation reveals that a wrongful termination occurred, your attorney can assist you in filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you’re concerned about your employer retaliating in light of a filing, they can help you file a complaint with the EEOC to further protect yourself.

What Is the Most You Can Sue for Wrongful Termination?

Acquiring compensation from a wrongful termination case is our goal, and it takes the form of lost wages or salary. The actual amount will vary depending on the details of the case. Payment can include back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages. Maloney Law & Associates, PLLC, has won damages for clients exceeding $1,000,000, and we fight for the maximum amount on your behalf.

Does North Carolina Require a Termination Letter?

Because North Carolina is an employment-at-will state, no termination letter is required of the employer. Employers do not need to give notice or a reason for the firing, and it can happen at any time the employer chooses. However, if a breach of contract ensues due to your termination, it is to your advantage to file a claim against your employer.

Will I Receive a Final Paycheck After Termination?

Any employee who is terminated will still receive the payment they are owed under North Carolina law. Depending on the contract, you may also be compensated for bonuses, commissions, or other earnings in addition to your regular pay. These wages must be paid either before or on the next expected payday. Otherwise, the employer is violating employment law.

Contact Maloney Law & Associates, PLLC

Wrongful termination is a traumatizing experience regardless of when, how, and to whom it happens. Sadly, it is a chain reaction that can cause further trauma and stress in your personal life. Maloney Law & Associates, PLLC, is not just available to work on the legalities of your case; we are human beings who believe in justice, dignity, and restoring what you were unfairly deprived of. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.