You have undoubtedly heard that North Carolina is an “at-will” state. What that means is that an employee who does not have a contract of employment can be terminated without any reason, or for an arbitrary reason, but it does not mean such an employee can be terminated for an unlawful reason.
There are many types of wrongful termination claims. The most common in North Carolina are for employees fired for exercising a legal right such as filing a workers compensation claim, or for refusing to violate the law even when asked to do so by their employers.
For example, if you are a truck driver whose supervisor asks you to drive past the time allotted by federal trucking regulations, and you refuse and are fired, you may have a claim for wrongful termination. Similarly, if you are a production worker who complains to OSHA that your working conditions have exposed you to hazardous materials at levels that exceed safe conditions, and your employer fires you, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.