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Terms of Employment: Washington

Terms of Employment requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Gloria Ju


  • With the increasing emphasis on the importance of properly classifying workers, Washington employers should be aware not only of the federal Labor Department and IRS tests, but also Washington's own state law tests. See The Employment Relationship.
  • Employers must ensure that all terms of employment comply with the Washington State Law Against Discrimination, which protects more characteristics and covers a broader range of employers than federal antidiscrimination laws. See Washington State Law Against Discrimination.
  • Washington is an employment at-will state that recognizes certain exceptions to the at-will doctrine. See The At-Will Employment Relationship; Exceptions to the At-Will Employment Relationship.
  • Employers in Washington may use noncompete agreements if they meet the state's three-factor reasonableness test. A noncompete agreement may be preferable to a nonsolicitation agreement. See Restrictive Covenants in Employment.