Wrongful Termination

Our employment, our skills, our careers are what we create through our life’s work. Yet, even the most loyal and dependable employee can have their job taken away from in sudden and unexpected ways, many of which violate laws of the United States and the State of Washington and other states. Though many states have “at will” employment, there are strong protections against being fired for illegal reasons. There is also protection against being bullied out of employment, “constructive termination”, if it is for unlawful reasons.

In this challenging world, we must have good employment provide for our families and to be safe now and in the future. Our employment and our good name in the workplace can be our most valuable possession, the essence of our identity, and the way we see ourselves and the way we assure a safe and honorable future for ourselves and our families.

Yet, untrained, abusive or even corrupt employers can be brutal and often violate laws in downsizing or retaliating against employees who act responsibly in the public interest.

Race and Gender discrimination are still present in the workplace. Employers, especially in economic hard times, find ways to evade accommodating disabilities and rights of pregnant women.

There is bullying and intimidation in poorly managed workplaces and employees often live in fear that can cripple their physical and mental health.

Older workers see employers treating them differently than the newer younger workers regardless of merit and performance and find themselves getting closer and closer to the exit door long before expected retirement.

Some things you need to know whether or not you contact us:

  1. Act Quickly: Document the dates and times of unfair events, keep copies of communications, emails, letters and documents that show your merit and your workload and your successful efforts. Document differences in treatment of preferred employees who are treated better than you.
  2. Get counsel immediately after any significant negative employment events such as suspension, layoff or notice of termination.
  3. Time limits for each action flow from the time of the adverse employment action and you may not be able to wait until after you are terminated to act.
    1. Within 30 days of a serious adverse employment action, you may need to contact Local, State and Federal Government Agencies that enforce laws about Unequal Pay, Public Policy Violations, Overtime Pay, Safety, Discrimination, Whistleblower Retaliation, Veterans Rights, Environmental Toxics, and Disability Accommodation.
    2. Arrange a consultation with an employment law attorney to make sure you have met the “short” limitation periods for claims that must be filed with a government agency to preserve your rights.
    3. Understand that employers often “retaliate” against employees who seek to enforce their rights even though it violates laws to retaliate.
  4. Common resources for employees (including independent contractors) or students being discriminated against, retaliated against or terminated are:
    1. United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – race, color, national origin, age, gender, disability, discrimination against Veterans (180 day or 300 day time limit)
    2. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries – Unequal Pay, Overtime Pay, Industrial Insurance (workers compensation), Unfair Labor Practices, Industrial Safety and Health (30 day time limit for some complaints)
    3. United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA – Safety in the Workplace, Whistleblower Protection and more)
    4. United States Department of Labor – Wage and Hour violations, Overtime, Unfair Labor Practices, ERISA benefit violations, Federal Contractor discrimination against employees or recipients of services, Discrimination against Veterans
    5. United States Department of Education – Discrimination against employees or Students in Education
    6. Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Discrimination in Education and Abuse of Students by Teachers
    7. United States Fair Labor Standards Administration – Fair treatment of employees and unions in employment and bargaining and grievance related matters
    8. Washington Public Employee Relations Commission – unfair treatment of public employees by employers and unions
    9. Washington Employment Lawyers Association – WELA – attorneys who focus on representing the employee in disputes with employers