I was assaulted at work and then fired because of it. Is think legal?

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I was assaulted at work and then fired because of it. Is think legal?

I was punched be a coworker, but I did not instigate him or retaliate other than verbally. Serveral people witnessed him punch me and we were BOTH fired. Is it legal for them to fire me as the victim of an assult that occured on their property? This is a union position, but I am not officialy in the union yet.

Asked on May 12, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 14 years ago | Contributor

Something is missing.  What happened that led up to this person punching you? In terms of employment law, most states (including Washington State) employment is at-will.  This means either you or the employer can terminate your relationship with each without cause (for no reason). 

In terms of union membership -- was it a timing issue (i.e., you are a new employee)?

In terms of wrongful termination, if you feel the employer wrongfully terminated you, you should follow up with the following:

1. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

2. The Washington State Department of Labor

3. www.attorneypages.com and consult with an employment law attorney in your state (i.e., someone who is well versed in wrongful termination).  If you feel you cannot afford an attorney, at least consult with one, the consultation may be at no or low cost. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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