Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you. Please just give me a moment to review your question....
the general rule is that employment in the state of Virginia is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true.
Unfortunately what this means is that an employer is not breaking the law by disciplining you based on the perception you are costing the company money by not working enough, or by working too much. Simply put, the law does not govern an employer's ability to demand whatever they see fit from employees and to release employees who do not meet their subjective expectations. This holds true even if those expectations are completely untrue and completely unreasonable.
So, I'm afraid to say this is not a situation in which you would typically have any legal rights. It is a situation in which you must exercise your power of persuasion to convince your manager that the standards he is attempting to impose are unfair and unwarranted. You may also wish to elevate your complaint to HR or your manager's manager.
I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less. If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....
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In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.