Nonprofits offer unique and meaningful work opportunities. There are many employer compliance requirements to complete when bringing a new worker onboard, so take the time to prepare for their arrival.

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At-will employment

Washington State recognizes the doctrine of at-will employment. At-will employment means that employees can quit whenever they want and the employer may terminate employees whenever it wants, provided there is no contract or agreement to the contrary. All employees are at-will employees unless the employer has taken affirmative steps to change the status. The majority of employees should be employed on an at-will basis to provide the employer with flexibility and to minimize cost.


Employers should have a policy confirming at-will employment. These Sample At-will policies are provided as a starting place.

Sample At-Will Policy

Two Sample at-will employment policies


Employment verification

Employers must have all employees hired complete the Form I-9. The Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Federal regulations require an employer to retain a Form I-9 for each employee hired for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later. Additional information on the Form I-9 is available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage – I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification – including blank forms and documents for download.

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