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. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract provisions.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Washington?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a Washington employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a certain race, nationality, religion or gender. An employer in Edmonds also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or seeking an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Also, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Lastly, an employer may not fire an employee for refusing to do something illegal, for exercising a legal right, or performing a legal obligation.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local Edmonds, Washington lawyers can properly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.