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 arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is critical that you know how your work setup is classified. Arrangements for employment that are under a defined term contract are not "at will", and can only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
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 particular race, nationality, religion or gender. Employers in Mercer Island may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or initiated an investigation into discrimination.
Moreover, 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. 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?
Attorneys in Mercer Island, Washington may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.