Washington State Employment Laws and Contracts

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Working in Washington State can be quite the challenge because there is a lot of competition. In the process of hiring, employers are too busy sorting out their internal issues and tend to neglect the importance of paying attention to crucial details like the employment laws and employment contract.

From the employers’ perspective, the government has outlined areas that need special attention. These are employment laws for every step of the way, and include:

• Laws for Hiring
• Laws for those on the Job
• Laws for Income Tax/ Tax Credit
• Laws for Health and Safety of employees
• Laws for Discrimination and Retribution
• Laws for Unemployment Damages
• Laws for Remedies and Resources
• Laws about where employees can get help

Let us look at two very important aspects of working in Washington:


During hiring, the law requires that all potential employees should apply according to the specified process of the company. Usually, there must an opening before people can apply for a job. The application process may require filling out a form, submission of a resume and a cover letter. Sometimes, there is the requirement to submit copies of other legal documents, especially for immigrants and foreigners.

After this, the employment laws state that the employer must call those who fulfill the requirements of the vacant space to an interview. Moreover, there are specific laws about what kinds of questions the employer can ask (as they are within the legal boundaries). It is always good for potential employees to check the outline of what sorts of questions are deemed legally permissible and not.

Any question pointing towards sexual discrimination, disability the potential employee has, and national origin discrimination is not acceptable. It is permissible for potential employers to ask about the duties and responsibilities of the potential employee outside of work to have a fair idea about his/her engagements and commitments to work before offering the employment contract. Apart from this, potential employers can ask about physical fitness (or even a health certificate) depending on the nature of the job. In some interviews, they can even ask the applicant to perform a physical activity to make sure he/she is up to the task. Moreover, the employer can ask for proof of the applicant’s knowing how to speak in other languages (if this is a requirement for the job).

Drug Testing

Usually, companies require applicants to undergo tests to make sure they are not drug addicts. This is legal as far as the company does not use this law to discriminate people. For instance, if a company only asks African American men or women to go for the test while not all others do, this can call for legal action against the company. Likewise, only asking men to go for the test while women do not, is also wrong.

1-9 Form:

This form is important and serves as proof that the employee qualifies to work in the state of Washington before offering them the employment contract. The employment laws bind employers to accept people that belong to the 1-9 lists; otherwise, employees have the right to file a case if they feel they did not get good and fair treatment.
As long as employers comply with employment laws, they will face no challenges by employees.

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