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?
Regarding terminating a Washington employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a specific race, religion, gender, or nationality. 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 Snohomish 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, employees are protected from being fired by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local Snohomish, Washington lawyers can properly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.