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 point and leave the employment organization. The only exception to this are reasons that the law has particularly 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. Thus, it is essential 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 may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Washington?
Regarding terminating a Washington employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a particular race, religion, gender, or nationality. Employers in Clark County may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or initiated an investigation into discrimination.
Additionally, according to the Family and Medical leave, employers are prohibited from firing employees who take leave for family or medical purposes. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Clark County, Washington may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.