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 critical 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 procedures.
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 barred from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. An employer in Island County also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or prompting an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, 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 may not terminate 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?
A local Island County, Washington attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in collecting the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.