Fredericksburg, VA asked in Employment Law for Virginia

Q: Can you get fired while in the middle of a PIP (improvement plan)?

Working full time. Getting audited by client. Score are between 98%-100%. Top performer. Boss put me on a pip for something I was never trained on. Did a review after 30 days on the pip with rave reviews on how I was doing. 4 days later I got fired. I was told I was making mistakes still while on the pip. I asked what mistakes I was making and was told it didn’t matter. I asked which cases she was referring to and was also told it didn’t matter. I told my boss it did matter because it was my quality of work. I was again told it didn’t matter.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lindsay A Freedman
Lindsay A Freedman pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Columbia, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: In Virginia, unless you have an employment contract or government/union due process protections, you are generally considered an employee at-will. This means that generally a company can terminate you for any or no reason — so long as they are not violating a law.

Many employment laws may offer certain protections here depending on your circumstances. A company cannot discriminate against you based on a protected status (for example, race, age, religion, sex, disability, etc) nor retaliate against you for opposing some type of illegal or protected activity.

The alleged "mistakes" that the company refused to substantiate could be false and "pretextual," i.e., covering up a nefarious or illegal termination reason. Thus, it is advised that you discuss the particular facts and circumstances with an employment lawyer to determine if you have a case for wrongful termination.

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