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Washington D.C. Employment Law Blog

Fighting back against DC workplace discrimination

When people in Washington, D.C., think of workplace discrimination, they may initially think of discriminatory acts based on a person's race or gender. However, age discrimination is also an issue in Washington D.C. that could go unnoticed.

What protections are available to wage and hour whistleblowers?

It is an unfortunate fact that some employers in Washington, D.C., engage in unscrupulous or even illegal acts. Violations of wage and hour laws are just one example of an illegal activity that an employer may engage in, and that an employee may report. It is important to note that the law protects such employees from being retaliated against by their employer for reporting such activity.

How does federal law address DC child labor?

For better or worse, most people in Washington, D.C., remember getting their first job. It is a right of passage for many. However, it is important to remember that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act has child labor law provisions that dictate the hours and types of work a minor can perform.

Reasonable accommodations and disability discrimination

People with disabilities in Washington D.C. often take great pride in being able to support themselves independently. In fact, it is often the case that a disabled person is, with reasonable accommodations, able to perform the same job duties that a non-disabled person is able to. However, there are times when individuals face disability discrimination while on the job.

Sex discrimination alleged in lawsuit against Justice Department

The United States Department of Justice, through the work of its United States Attorneys and staffs, works to prosecute crimes committed in violation of federal law. District of Columbia residents may be familiar with the 13 appellate courts to which district court matters are raised on appeal; district courts are where alleged violations of federal law are initially heard for trial.

There are district courts throughout the country and attorneys who serve those courts as prosecutors. While most of those prosecutors are seasoned with regard to bringing lawsuits on behalf of the people of the United States, they may not be as familiar with initiating litigation on behalf of themselves. A former prosecutor for a federal court recently did just that, however, when she filed claims against the Department of Justice alleging to be the victim of sex discrimination.

What is workplace discrimination and how am I protected?

Workplace discrimination is an important topic for workers to understand. Workplace discrimination laws are designed to ensure that employees are not victims of discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability or age. Legal protections for employees based on sexual orientation are also increasing in some respects.

Both federal and state laws provide protections for workers against workplace discrimination. In Washington D.C., the Office of Human Rights helps protect workers from discrimination. In circumstances when an employee has been denied a promotion because of the employee's race, sex or pregnancy, for instance, a complaint with the human rights' office may be appropriate. Additionally, employees may be discriminated against, or retaliated against, for reporting sexual harassment or wrongdoing which may also create a situation in which it is appropriate to file a complaint.

Navy supports extending paid maternity leave to 12 weeks

Even though a person's life consists of much more than his or her job or career, employment does constitute an extremely important aspect of one's life. Employment not only provides income, which enables people to survive and enjoy life, but it also provides fulfillment in many situations. For these reasons, people often value their employment greatly. However, employees should not be exploited, face harassment or discrimination or be prevented from enjoying other aspects of their lives in an effort to maintain their employment. Federal and state laws protect a number of significant employee rights. One right that continues to be in forefront of public discussion is maternity leave.

As people continue to debate gender inequality in the workplace, one cannot avoid discussing the topic of maternity leave. Many people advocate for different or greater maternity leave policies in order to improve working conditions for women. The U.S. Navy may be taking steps to improve maternity leave for women. Recently the Navy Secretary introduced a proposal to extend paid maternity leave from six weeks to twelve weeks for women in the Navy. This proposal was one of several focused on females in the Navy and their quality of life. However, despite the support of the higher leadership for such a policy, extending paid maternity leave would require Congressional action. If successful, though, the Navy would become one of the institutions most supportive of new mothers in the United States.

Remedies and options after wrongful termination

Losing your job unexpectedly is always a severe blow. Those who have been terminated often experience shock, anger, stress, worry and fear. Wrongful termination, or being illegally fired, has a particular sting. This may be especially true in cases where the termination constitutes retaliation in response to an action you legally took. After suffering a wrongful termination, many people want to do something to stand up for themselves and to protect their rights and interests.

Although employers generally have wide latitude in making decisions relating to the hiring and firing of employees, there are many different situations in which it is illegal for an employer to terminate employment. Two of the most common illegal reasons for firing are discrimination and retaliation.

What is a wrongful termination claim?

For most individuals, job security is an important daily concern in their lives. When a job has been lost, employees may wonder what wrongful termination is and what rights they may have if wrongfully terminated. There are two circumstances in which an employee can potentially wrongfully lose their job. Wrongful termination can occur when an employment contract has been breached or the termination of the employee violated the law.

Generally, employment contracts include a provision that termination cannot be arbitrary but must be for cause. The majority of employment relationships, however, are at will and can be terminated at the discretion of either party. In some instances, such as in certain circumstances involving an employee handbook, it may be possible to establish an implied contract and breach of that contract.

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