West Virginia (WV) is an at-will state for employment, much like many others in the United States. Employers who uphold this doctrine can generally sever the employment relationship that they share with a worker for any non-discriminatory reason and at any point in time. Employers may be unable to terminate a worker if their employees are subject to a contract or local or state laws prohibit their dismissal.
State laws such as WV Code Sec. 21-3-19 prohibit employers from letting workers go from the job simply because they use tobacco products privately.
WV Code Sec. 21-5-5B specifies how employers generally can’t order their workers to submit to polygraph tests before extending them a job offer.
State law WV Code 46A-2-131 also prohibits employers from firing workers simply because they have a single garnishment taken out of their paycheck.
West Virginia employers cannot take any retaliatory action against an employee for being called for or serving on a jury according to WV Code Sec. 52-3-1.
WV Code Sec. 21-3A-13 spells out how any public employer can’t discriminate against or discharge a worker who testifies, files a complaint of otherwise reports safety and health act violations.
Employers like to think of themselves as having the upper hand when it comes to exercising their rights in at-will employment states such as West Virginia. There are laws in place that keep the limits of their power in check, though.
One of the best things that you can do if you’re concerned that your Charleston employer has unlawfully retaliated against at you is to reach out to employment law attorney. Your lawyer can advise you whether your employer’s actions violated any existing laws and inform you of your right to pursue legal action if they did.