Washington is an Employment-at-Will State. That means, in general, that both the employer and employee are free to continue or stop the relationship at any time and for any reason. The exception to that is that the employer cannot cease the relationship for an impermissible reason, such as race, gender, disability or age-related reasons. Employment law is a rapidly evolving area of the law with dramatic changes published almost on a monthly basis from the Supreme Courts of both Washington State and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wage & Hour: Our office may be able to help when the employer fails to pay the employee his or her wages in-full when owed.
Discrimination: Our office may be able to help when an employer takes an adverse action against an employee (discipline, pass over for promotion, or termination) based on some qualified discriminatory basis of sex, race, age, disability, etc.
Employment Security Appeals: Our office may be able to help deal with the Employment Security Department. If an employee is denied benefits following separation from employment, a hearing can be requested to review the denial. Following that hearing determination, which takes live testimony under oath, there is an appeal process to further seek or secure unemployment benefits.
Retaliation / Whistle-blower: Our office may be able to help when an employee raises a legitimate concern or complaint and then receives some adverse action from the employer.
Sexual Harassment: Our office may be able to help when management participates or knows of sexually-related conduct that interferes with the employee’s job. Sexual Harassment can range from offensive language and jokes to physical touching or sexual favor requirements for job advancement or retention.
Personnel Appeal Board: Our office may be able to help in cases where a State employee has been disciplined or terminated. The PAB is the administrative agency used as the first recourse to retract the discipline or termination.
Union related: Our office may be able to help represent individuals who are either unsatisfied with the Union’s representation or the Union has decided not to proceed on behalf of the member.
Arbitration / Mediation / Negotiation / Trial: Our office may be able to help when employment-related cases are resolved either through negotiations, which can include mediation or arbitration, or when they are resolved by going to trial in court. Most cases resolve short of trial, either through negotiations between lawyers, or some form of organized Mediation or Arbitration.
Mediation involves a neutral person, usually an attorney who is knowledgeable in employment law. This attorney (the Mediator) acts as an intermediary for the two parties by listening to both sides, but not deciding the case. Mediators typically use shuttle diplomacy to go between the two parties with settlement offers until resolution is accomplished. Mediation ends with no agreement if not successful in resolving the dispute.
Arbitration is similar to a trial wherein a third party listens to the evidence from both sides and then makes a decision as to the outcome and a damage award. Arbitration decisions can be appealed to Superior Court if one party is unhappy with the result.
The following information is needed when calling a law office for help regarding employment law: