When employment issues arise, employees should consult an attorney early in the process. It is especially important for the employee to carefully consider whether or not to resign. Resigning will likely have a negative impact on the employee’s case and will make it more difficult to obtain unemployment benefits.
It is important to remember that North Carolina is an employment-at-will state. The following employment-at-will statement should be read before reading the practice areas or library sections.
What is “employment-at-will”?
North Carolina is an employment-at-will state. This means that an employee can be fired for no reason, for an arbitrary reason or for an irrational reason.
Unless there is an employment contract that sets a definite term of employment, the employer can lawfully dismiss the employ for any reason that it not otherwise unlawful.
There are exceptions to the “at-will” rule:
1. The employer and employees can remove the at-will presumption by contract, specifying a definite period of employment.
2. Federal and state statutes have created exceptions prohibiting employers from discharging employees based on impermissible considerations such as the employee’s age, race, sex, religion, national origin, or disability, or in retaliation for filing certain claims against the employer.
3. There is a public-policy exception to the employment-at-will rule which has created the “wrongful discharge” cause of action.
It is of the utmost importance to remember that if the employee does not fit within one of these exceptions, he or she can be fired for no reason, for an arbitrary reason or for an irrational reason.
Employment Law Practice Areas
We provide legal representation in the following areas of employment law:
Family and Medical Leave Act
Social Security Disability
Contact Us • Statewide Representation
You are welcome to contact us regarding your employment law issue.
Please complete our employment law contact form so that we can assist you with your employment issue.
If you have any employment issue with an agency of the State of North Carolina (e.g. Department of Transportation)., please use the State employee contact form.