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 essential that you know how your work setup is classified. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
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 certain race, nationality, religion or gender. Washougal employers are further barred from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Furthermore, 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 are prevented from terminating an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a Washington Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Washougal, 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.