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 important 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 can 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. Employers in Yakima may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or prompted an investigation into discrimination.
Further, 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. Finally, employers may not fire 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 Yakima, Washington may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in preparing the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.