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. A Bellevue 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, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Finally, employers may not fire workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Bellevue, Washington lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the required information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.