Virginia is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer can terminate you for any or no reason. Fortunately, the Fair Labor Standards Act can protect you.
Knowing your basic rights can help to protect you from unfair treatment.
The right to be free from discrimination
Your employer or future employer cannot discriminate against you based on the following:
- Sexual orientation
They also cannot discriminate against you based on marital status.
Discrimination may result in wrongful termination. This is true even if you are in an at-will employment state. You have the right to file suit or report a violation without fear of termination.
The right to a safe workplace
You have the right to work in safe conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Act sets forth these conditions. One thing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does is to ensure compliance with this act.
An employer cannot terminate your employment if you report a violation to OSHA, triggering an inspection.
The right to fair wages
Each state has minimum wage and overtime laws. Although the amount differs from state to state, your employer has to pay you at least the minimum wage set by the federal government.
The right to leave
All employers have to give you leave under certain circumstances. This includes jury duty, family medical, military and maternity leave. They must also give you time to vote in local, state and federal elections.
These are just a few of your basic rights as an employee.