Wrongful Termination

Have You Been Fired or Is Your Job on The Line?

Most private sector employees in North Carolina are employed “at-will.” This means that an employer generally has the right to terminate an employee at any time, without notice, and for no reason. However, there are three exceptions to this rule:

Breaches of Employment Contracts

Companies sometimes enter into agreements with executives and other employees, setting forth the terms and conditions of their employment relationship. These agreements specify the duration of employment or restrict the circumstances under which employment may be terminated. If an employer violates such an agreement, the employee may have a legal claim against the employer for breach of contract.  The deadline for filing breach of contract claims in North Carolina is 3 years.  However, it is recommended that claims be filed without delay.

Unlawful Discrimination

The Wrongful Discharge Against Public Policy (WDPP) law of North Carolina (based on the NC Equal Employment Practices Act) prohibits certain employers from firing employees due to race or colornational originreligionagesex, and disability.  Because the deadline for filing a WDPP claim has fluctuated in recent years, it is recommended that claims be filed without delay.

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prohibits certain employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees who exercise or attempt to exercise an FMLA right.  The deadline for filing an FMLA claim depends on the facts of the case, so it is recommended that claims be filed without delay.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibit certain employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees based on sexpregnancysexual orientation or gender identityrace or colornational originreligiondisability, and age.

Under Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA, private sector employees must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 calendar days of a discriminatory action.  You will forfeit important legal rights if you do not file a timely charge with the EEOC.  Different deadlines apply to the filing of complaints about FMLA violations.  If you’ve already missed a deadline, call to discuss your options.

Violations of North Carolina Public Policy

The Wrongful Discharge Against Public Policy law of North Carolina also prohibits certain employers from firing an employee for:

  • Refusing a request to violate a state law (such as refusing to commit perjury during testimony)
  • Opposing an unlawful employer activity (such as protesting non-payment of overtime)
  • Participating in a role protected by public policy (such as serving on a jury)

The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) prohibits some employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees for asserting their rights under certain state laws such as the NC Workers’ Compensation Act, NC Wage and Hour Act, and NC OSHA.  REDA claims must be filed within 180 calendar days of the discriminatory action.

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, contact Rich Daugherty.  He has expertise in handling a wide range of wrongful termination cases.  He understands that being fired unlawfully is a traumatic experience for employees and their families.  Whether your employment has been wrongfully terminated, you’re in fear of losing your job unlawfully, or you’re stuck in an untenable situation, contact Rich.

In addition to litigating cases, Rich negotiates confidential severance agreements and executive exit agreements favorable to his clients.

Rich offers a one-on-one relationship with his clients. He will stand by your side every step of the way to resolve your case fairly.

Rich represents clients from across North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and more. He is available to meet with prospective clients outside of Chapel Hill when circumstances permit. Evening appointments are also available.

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Chapel Hill, NC