Can Your Employer Fire You Without Notice or Cause?

Because of the economic recession, finding a job can be difficult, and keeping one can be very difficult.

At-Will Employment

Virginia is an employment at will state. This means that your employer can terminate you for any reason, as long as it’s for legal reasons. Your employer can also terminate you for no reason. Your employer cannot terminate you for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation for exercising your state or federal rights, such as a right to work in a safe work environment, a right to receive workers’ compensation and a right to work in a nondiscriminatory workplace. Conversely, you can terminate employment without cause and without notice.

Firing or Quitting Without Notice

Unless you have an employment contract with your employer, you do not have to give advance notice before quitting. Your employer cannot withhold your paycheck in retaliation. However, your employer can limit vacation or sick day payouts if you don’t give notice. This is because vacation and sick pay is not mandatory in Virginia. As such, your employer can place limitations on them.

Federal Employment Notice Law

In most circumstances, your employer can terminate you without giving you notice. However, if your employer is subject to the WARN Act or the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, you must have some advance notice before termination.

Reporting an Employer’s Illegal Conduct

So what do you do if your employer fires you illegally? You should report him for illegally firing you with the appropriate administrative agency or file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, if you can do so without obtaining a right to sue from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the EEOC. 

Smooth out your business operations with Keithley Law, PLLC and our Fairfax business law attorneys. Small businesses and major companies alike rely on us for day-to-day counsel, as well as representation for difficult cases. Find out more by contacting us and arranging an initial consultation with our team.