Answer: All Washington employees are "at-will" employees unless they have an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or some other agreement with their employer that says otherwise. "At-will" means that the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any lawful reason or for no reason at all.
Answer: Both federal and state law forbid employers from firing an employee for certain reasons. A "reason" is something that was a substantial factor motivating the employer's decision to fire the employee. Some common unlawful motivations for firing an employee are:
Answer: If you are employed "at-will" (see above), your employer can legally fire you for no reason. However, just because your employer won't tell you the reason for firing you, that doesn't mean the employer didn't actually have one or more reasons. Those secret reasons cannot be the result of an unlawful motivation. For more information about unlawful motivations, read the answer to question number two.
Answer: This question is similar to the last question: it is not illegal for an employer simply to tell you a false reason for firing you. However, just because your employer won't tell you the true reason for firing you, that true reason cannot be an unlawful motivation. For more information about unlawful motivations, read the answer to question number two.
Answer: Unfortunately, harassment and hostile work environment are not illegal by themselves. To be illegal, harassment and hostile work environment must be motivated by an unlawful motivation. Some common unlawful motivations include:
Answer: The first step you should take is speak with your supervisor or manager. If that doesn't work, speak with someone in the Human Resources Department if your employer has one. If the harasser is your supervisor, skip that step! If this doesn't fix the problem, think about applying for anti-harassment protection order from a local court. You can find instructions and forms at this website. If a judge grants your petition, the harasser may be prohibited from being at your place of employment.
Answer: Yes, just because you are paid a salary does not mean that you are exempt from receiving overtime compensation. There some additional requirements to be overtime exempt as a salary employee. While there are some additional nuances, you may still need to be paid overtime if your primary job duty is not one of the following:
Answer: Yes, some of those limitations include: