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 a Washington at-will employment, discrimination is the most common unlawful ground for terminating an employee. Termination by an employer cannot be done on the basis of race, nationality, gender, or religion. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the King County employer.
Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. 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?
King County, Washington lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the proper information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.