If you or someone you know has recently gotten fired and you suspect wrongful termination was at play, then it’s important to seek out an experienced employment lawyer for legal advice. There is a very specific definition of wrongful termination, and an attorney can help you determine if your former employer participated in misconduct. If you suspect you’re a victim of wrongful dismissal in Washington, get in touch with us.
The wrongful termination lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys have years of experience in employment law and can help you with your legal issues.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Under the law, wrongful termination refers to illegally firing employees. Illegal reasons for firing may include violation of whistleblower laws, retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, anti-discrimination law violations, and breach of contract. It is against the law for an employer to dismiss you from your job on the grounds of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.
The law also prohibits employers from firing employees because they forwarded a whistleblower complaint against them. If any of the above sound like your situation, a wrongful termination lawyer in Bellevue can help you seek justice in court.
What Are Some Examples of Wrongful Termination?
If you’ve experienced any of the following examples prior to being fired, then you may have a case for wrongful termination:
- Discrimination based on disability, race, gender, skin color, and religion.
- Harassment consisting of hostile and insulting comments about gender, race, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Constructive dismissal, where the employer manipulates the work environment to motivate an employee to quit their job. It may involve changing the terms of employment without warning or demoting an employee with no valid reason.
- Retaliation against an employee for lodging a claim about the workplace or employer
- Whistleblowing on illegal actions taking place in the workplace
What is Considered Wrongful Termination in Washington?
Most people usually believe that they have a case against their employers any time they are fired unjustly. From a legal perspective, wrongful termination describes a situation where your employer violates certain discrimination policies or the terms of your employment contract.
Can You Be Fired for No Reason in Washington?
Technically yes and no. If your employer didn’t violate any contract, then it means that you must have been in at-will employment. In the state of Washington, this means that an employer can let an employee go for any reason, as long as they stay within certain legal restrictions.
At-will employment allows an employer to terminate your employment at any time without prior warning, explanation, or reason. It also means that an employee can choose to quit with no warning or reason at all.
However, if you were fired after filing a whistleblower report or revealing you fall within a protected class, then you may have grounds for a lawsuit. The best way to know if you have a case is to seek legal representation from an attorney with extensive experience in wrongful termination litigation.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination?
Most times, when employers dismiss their employees, they give false reasons for termination. For this reason, you may find it difficult to prove the motive for wrongful termination.
To prove that your employer dismissed you unfairly, you need to have hard evidence against them that proves that the reason for your termination was false. Your evidence should show that the reason your employer gave for termination was an illegal one. Here is an example that can help you identify how to prove the motive for unfair dismissal.
Jane was recently fired for bad performance. However, she knows this is not true as she has been working hard for the past six months and has managed to turn an almost dead department around. She knows that the real reason for her termination is because of her gender.
To prove motive in this case, Jane will have to provide her performance rating for the six months she’s been working in the company. She should also provide client feedback sent to her employer and other necessary documentation proving that she finished all the projects assigned to her, which the employer is claiming she failed to do.
Additionally, Jane must prove that gender played a key role in her termination. If the employer had a reputation for making sexist comments, even if the comments weren’t directed at her, Jane can call forth witnesses to the event. The supervisor may have also referred to Jane as too sensitive, which might prove gender bias as many people associate emotion with women and not men.
The law office of HKM Employment Attorneys has handled a number of wrongful termination claims in the Seattle area. We can help you determine what evidence to gather in order to support your claims in court.
Contact Our Wrongful Termination Law Firm in Bellevue
HKM Employment Attorneys are skilled and experienced at handling wrongful termination claims. We can help you determine whether you have a case for wrongful termination and if you can seek damages. We will walk you through every step of filing your case to seek a settlement or file a lawsuit. Talk to us today to learn more about your options and discover what legal strategy works best for your case.