Washington is an at-will state. That means an employee maybe fired for any non-prohibited reason (prohibited reasons include race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc.). Sometimes, though, employees give up other valuable opportunities, and may ask for an employment contract, protecting them from termination during the term of employment.
Some businesses entrust their employees with valuable information, such as customer lists and trade secrets. It may be appropriate for an employee to sign a non-compete, or confidentiality agreement. If the agreements fail to comply with Washington law, though, they can be unenforceable or only partly enforceable. Also, some employment agreements may contain provisions that are overly onerous for the employee. We help employers and employees negotiate the employment relationship.
Employers who fail to take discrimination, harassment, and complaints seriously can face substantial liability. Employers should have a complaint process that works for their business and employees. One size does not fit all. The complaint process should be carefully tailored to suit the situation. It can be worse to have an ill-fitted complaint process than it is to have no process at all.
If you are an employer or employee and you have questions, we are happy to hear from you.