Have You Been Wrongfully Discharged from Your Job?
Terminating employment creates a number of issues no matter what side of the situation you may find yourself on. If you are an employer facing a wrongful termination lawsuit, you need a high-quality, cost-effective defense to protect your business and your reputation from the adverse effects of a lawsuit . On the other hand, if you are an employee that has been wrongfully terminated, you need aggressive and experienced representation to fight on your behalf so that you can receive the justice you deserve. No matter what your situation is, if you face a wrongful termination claim or if you would like to file one of these claims, it is very important that you hire a Washington employment law attorney to help you through these difficult times. Some of the underlying causes of wrongful termination claims include:
- Breach of an employment contract
- Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Retaliation for complaints regarding overtime and payment of wages
- Violations of public policy
- Whistleblower protection under state and federal law
- Discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or other prohibited factors
- Discrimination under ERISA or employee benefit plans
Washington state follows the doctrine of “at-will employment,” meaning that either party to an employment relationship may terminate the relationship at any time, and for any reason. While this initially seems to relieve employers from any liability for wrongful discharge, there are certain statutory and common law reasons which may subject an employer to liability for terminating an employee. For example, Washington recognizes a public policy exception to the at-will doctrine, meaning that an employer may not terminate an employee for conduct that comports with public policy. This exception covers employees who are “whistleblowers,” and alert the public or regulatory agencies to employer misconduct or malfeasance. In addition, federal statutes such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit employers from terminating employees for certain reasons and from retaliating against them (which includes termination) for filing complaints regarding prohibited employment practices. If an employer wrongfully terminates an employee, they may incur legal liability. Because Washington is an at-will employment state, wrongful termination claims are often difficult to prove and require the assistance of experienced legal counsel. Sometimes, an employer fabricates a valid reason for termination in order to justify some other and legally impermissible reason. When this occurs, a successful legal claim often turns on a thorough investigation and fact sensitive legal analysis. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to consult with an employment law attorney that understands both Washington state and federal wrongful termination law. There is a limited amount of time in which wrongful termination claims can be filed, so it is important to consult with attorney as soon as possible.
Wrongful Discharge Claims Lawyer in Washington
HKM Employment Attorneys represents employers and employees in a wide range of labor, employment, and employee benefits matters, including claims for wrongful discharge. Our firm handles employment law matters at all stages of a dispute from workplace investigations and pre -litigation advice to litigation in state and federal courts. We strive to provide effective and aggressive representation for our clients. Our extensive experience representing both employers and employees in labor, employment, and employee benefits cases, allows our firm to quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a case and develop a comprehensive approach to case management. Our extensive experience allows us to anticipate the arguments of opposing counsel and employ specific strategies for the prosecution or defense of an employment lawsuit. Contact a Washington wrongful discharge claims attorney today.