Most employment is labeled as "at-will" in the state of Washington. This means that an employer or employee is free to end the work relationship at any time and leave the employment organization. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has specifically outlined as impermissible to use as a basis for employee termination.
Employment that does not fall into the category of "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions. Therefore, it is crucial that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination can only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Washington?
In the state of Washington, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are prohibited from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. An Arlington employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Arlington, Washington attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.