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 important 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?
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 specific race, religion, gender, or nationality. Employers in Colville may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or prompted an investigation into discrimination.
Further, 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 are prevented from firing an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Colville, 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.