Court Allows Individual Liability for Wrongful Discharge

The Virginia Supreme Court last week broke some new ground in answering a question from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: can a manager or supervisor be personally liable for wrongful termination?

Typically, wrongful termination cases are very limited in scope, only allowing a claim where the firing violated a fundamental public policy. The decision didn’t change that.

However, the Virginia Supreme Court did say that individual managers or supervisors who participated in the wrongful termination may be liable in addition to the employer itself (usually the corporation or other entity). The opinion drew a rare dissent from three of the seven justices.


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