The law office of Aaron W. Baker, Attorney at Law, located in Portland, Oregon, handles issues and litigation regarding retaliatory discharge. We serve clients in Multnomah County, Washington County and Clackamas County as well as in cities throughout the northern coast, the Gorge, and central Oregon.
Oregon is known as an “employment at will” state. In plain English, the Employment At-Will doctrine means that employment is presumed to be voluntary and indefinite for both employees and employers. As an at-will employee, you may quit your job whenever and for whatever reason you want, usually without consequence. In turn, at-will employers may terminate you whenever and for whatever reason (as long as it is not an illegal reason), or for no reason, also usually without consequence.
Either party may end the employment relationship without prior notice, but neither party may breach a contract in doing so. Employers cannot violate state or federal laws, and generally cannot terminate employees who refuse to do something that is contrary to public policy and sound morality, for example by firing an employee who rightfully reports a violation, which results in wrongful termination. For example, you cannot be fired for refusing to do something illegal such as doctoring the books, firing someone else for an illegal reason, or filing a fraudulent insurance claim. Your employer cannot terminate you for refusing to violate the law. In addition, there are various state and federal laws that protect you from being wrongfully terminated for certain reasons, such as for reporting illegal company activity to the proper authorities, or for complaining about sexual harassment.
Whistle Blower Protection
In addition, an employee cannot be unlawfully fired for exposing corruption or fraud in the workplace. These individuals have “blown the whistle” on a wide range of issues, such as employer misconduct, serious health and safety concerns related to the workplace, wage claims, overtime issues, and other employment issues.
If you would like to speak with a lawyer regarding wrongful or retaliatory discharge, contact us today to see if you qualify for a free consultation.