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 arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is crucial that you know how your work setup is classified. Arrangements for employment that are under a set term contract are not "at will", and may only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Washington?
In a Washington at-will employment, discrimination is the most common illegal 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 prompting an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Port Angeles 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 Port Angeles, 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.