Bellevue Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Washington law empowers companies to hire and fire workers at will. That policy encourages employers to take a chance on a job applicant, since they know they can terminate the person whenever they want if things don’t work out. However, some terminations are wrongful under the law. Washington’s at-will employment policy has certain limitations which restrict an employer’s discretion.

Breach of a Contract

You might be one of the few workers with an employment contract. Typically, these agreements say you can only be fired “for cause,” such as missing too many days of work or not hitting milestones. If your employer terminates you without cause, then you have a wrongful termination claim.

Discrimination

It is flatly illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on certain protected attributes, such as:

  • Discapacidad
  • Age
  • Color
  • Race
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Sex or gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Genetic information

Imagine if your company fires 30 workers, all of whom are in their 60s. That looks like a clear case of age discrimination. Contáctenos to discuss.

Violation of Public Policy

Bellevue workers should feel free to exercise their rights without retaliation from their employer. You cannot be fired for:

  • Requesting or taking family and medical leave
  • Refusing to break the law for your employer
  • Blowing the whistle on illegal conduct
  • Complaining about discrimination or harassment
  • Seeking workers’ compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury or occupational illness

If your employer strikes back by terminating you, then you have a legal case for wrongful termination against them.

Proving Wrongful Termination

These are tricky cases. Often, an employer has an official reason for firing you. They might claim your performance reviews were terrible or that you missed work. In many situations, this reason is “pretextual”—meaning, it is not the real motivation.

We rely on certain evidence:

  • Performance reviews. If you have a history of great reviews, then it’s less believable that you were terminated for performance or disciplinary reasons.
  • Sequence of events. You might have complained about sexual harassment, only to get fired a week later. That sequence of events makes it look like your employer retaliated against you. The same is true if you requested leave or filed a workers’ compensation claim, only to suddenly get terminated.
  • Proof of discriminatory motive. Very few employers ever admit they are discriminating against a worker. Still, there are ways to piece together what happened. We look to see who else was terminated along with you. If you all share a characteristic (gender, age, race, etc.), then it looks like the firing was motivated by a discriminatory purpose.
  • Witnesses. A boss might have inadvertently admitted something to another person, such as a desire to make the workplace “younger.” These statements help paint a picture of why you were fired.

Call a Bellevue Wrongful Termination Attorney

Terminated workers should fully understand their legal rights. Sometimes, you can file a lawsuit in court or a charge with an administrative agency and seek compensation. Premier Law Group has also sought compensatory damages or even job reinstatement. Call us to find out more.