Washington is generally an “at-will employment” state. This means the general rule in Washington is that, unless a contract, collective bargaining agreement or state statute says otherwise, an employer can terminate a worker with or without notice for any reason, good or bad, or for no reason at all.
Discrimination in the workplace not only threatens our rights, but also menaces the institutions and foundations of a free democratic state. Federal and state law prohibit employers from discriminating against their workers under many circumstances. For a worker to establish a claim for employment discrimination, he or she must prove several things.
The urge to retaliate is as old as humanity itself. The idea of “tit-for-tat” is inherent in the fabric of our society. The idea that “if you hurt me, I’ll hurt you” plays itself out every day. But not all workplace retaliation is unlawful.
Numerous federal and state laws prohibit an employer from retaliating against a worker for reporting certain violations to government investigators.
Whether an employer acts out of ignorance or greed, wage theft is a real problem facing low- to middle-income American workers. An employer can steal a worker’s wage through a variety of means.
Federal law and Washington law require employers to pay non-exempt workers at least one-and-one-half times the workers’ regular rate of pay for all time worked after the first 40 hours in a week. The question, then, is: “Who is non-exempt?”
Severance agreements are voluntary agreements made between an employer and an employee at the end of the employment relationship. The employment relationship can end due to a reduction in force (“layoff”), termination (“fired”), or even in some cases resignation (“quitting”).
A contract is a legally enforceable promise between two or more people. To be enforceable, a contract requires each side to agree on the essential terms of the contract and express their agreement to the other side.
In 2016, The New York Times estimated that 30 million working Americans, or about one in five employed citizens, are subject to “non-compete agreements” (“To Compete Better, States are Trying to Curb Noncompete Pacts,” N.Y. Times, June 28, 2016). These agreements between an employer and a worker limit the worker’s ability to work after he leaves his employer, whether through being laid off, termination or resignation.