Employment At-Will: Virginia
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Michael E. Barnsback, LeClairRyan PC
- Virginia adheres strongly to the employment-at-will doctrine, and as a result, has fewer exceptions than are found in federal law or the laws of other states. See Employment At-Will Doctrine, Generally.
- Verbal promises typically do not overcome the presumption of at-will employment. See Employment Contracts.
- Virginia employers should utilize employee handbook disclaimers, reminding employees that they are retained at will, despite the provisions of the handbook. See Employment Contracts.
- Public employees in Virginia have additional rights when it comes to freedom of speech in the workplace. See First Amendment Retaliation.
- Though Wrongful/Retaliatory Discharge is recognized, it is limited to narrowly defined public policy grounds. See Public Policy Exceptions.
- Virginia has a contrary view of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the employment context. See Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
- Virginia recognizes other employment-related claims against employers, including defamation, fraud (promissory estoppel), intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference with a contract. See Exceptions in Tort.