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 Enumclaw 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, employers are prohibited by the Family and Medical Leave act from firing those employees who take leave in order to address family or medical concerns. 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 Enumclaw, 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.