DC Wrongful Termination Lawyer
In DC and many other areas, most employees are considered “at will” employees, which means they could be fired for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, when a termination violates the law or breaches an employment contract, you could sue your employer for wrongful termination.
If you were unfairly or illegally terminated, you may need the help of a DC wrongful termination lawyer. A skilled employment attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could advise you about your rights and help you make educated decisions about how to protect your financial and career interests following a wrongful termination.
Employment Rights in the District of Columbia
The complex web of federal statutes, local laws, and court decisions that protect employees from wrongful termination can be difficult for many laypeople to understand. A seasoned DC wrongful termination attorney could outline and explain the application of specific laws to your unique case.
Federal and DC Laws Against Discrimination
Under federal law, it is illegal to fire someone because of their race, gender, age, national origin, or disability, among other characteristics. The DC Human Rights Act also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities, credit standing, and many other characteristics.
If you are terminated for a discriminatory reason, you have the right to bring an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the DC Office of Human Rights. There is also an option to file a civil lawsuit to seek redress for illegal discrimination.
Protection from Retaliation
Just as it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees, it is also illegal to fire someone as retaliation for complaining about unlawful workplace conditions or practices. Among other issues, this includes terminating an employee for voicing opposition to discrimination, sexual harassment, overtime and other pay issues, leave violations, and concerns about workplace safety.
The law also prohibits retaliation against workers who participate in investigations of workplace issues. This includes actions such as participating in an internal company investigation, testifying as a witness in court or before an agency, or giving a statement to an investigator.
Terminations in Violation of Public Policy
Court decisions in DC have recognized the right of employees to sue their employer if an unfair or illegal termination violates public policy. This protects employees who engage in conduct protected under a “well-established” federal or local policy.
Damages and Other Recourse After an Unjust Firing
You may seek monetary damages and other types of relief after you are wrongfully terminated, but exactly what a judge or jury may award after a favorable verdict depends on applicable laws and the specific type of violation involved. In general, however, damages may include back pay for lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees. The court may also require your employer to reinstate you, pay front pay for a period of time, or other appropriate actions to ensure discrimination does not continue.
Employees concerned about unfair termination often benefit from the guidance of a knowledgeable wrongful termination lawyer in DC. Our team could assess the facts of your termination case, advise you about different employee protection laws, and assess potential damages you may be able to recover.
Call a Tenacious DC Employment Attorney
If you are concerned about your employment rights, a DC wrongful termination lawyer could help you better understand your legal rights and how to dispute a wrongful firing. They could then help you file an EEOC charge, pursue litigation in court, and hold your employer accountable for the damage they caused. To learn more about ways that an experienced attorney could help with your specific concerns, call us today.