It’s Business, And It’s Personal

Three exceptions to at-will employment

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Employment Law |

North Carolina is an at-will state, which means an employee can be terminated for any reason unless an employment contract says otherwise.

Most employee-employer relationships are at-will in nature and many terminated employees find out the hard that they have little recourse against their employer.

However, there are exceptions to the at-will rule that protect employees from being terminated for certain reasons. If the termination falls into one of these exceptions, the employer exposes themselves to a wrongful termination lawsuit.


There are both state and federal laws protecting employees from being fired because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Public Policy

Some terminations are prohibited out of public interest. The government imposes these restrictions to preserve public health and safety.

For example, it is against the law to fire a worker because they file a workers compensation claim.


The government wants to encourage workers to speak out if they witness their employer committing a crime. Thus, it is against the law to terminate employees for calling attention to wrongdoing.

Employers are not above the law

Many employers, especially large corporations, believe they can treat their employees however they want. But this doesn’t change the fact that employees still have rights under the law.

If you were a victim of wrongful termination, the first step towards vindicating your rights is hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf, which could result in a significant financial award.

Fayetteville, North Carolina residents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.