Employees in Washington, D.C. are generally considered to have employment at will. This means that an employee may leave employment or an employer can terminate an employee for no cause at any all. Despite this general employment-at-will, however, there are situations in which the firing of an employee is considered to be unlawful. For example, situations involving retaliation often constitute wrongful termination. An employee fired in retaliation may have a legal case against his or her employer for compensation or restitution.
Many wage laws have to do with the payment of overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the perfect example. Although the FLSA contains specific provisions relating to overtime pay, however, some employees are exempt from those provisions. This means that such employees are not required to be paid overtime in the same way that non-exempt are. In order to understand whether one's employer is violating the overtime provisions of the FLSA, an employee must understand whether he or she is classified as exempt.
The workplace-related civil rights protections that now exist in this country ensure that a person's ability to find or maintain a job is not adversely affected by his or her age, sex, national origin, religion or certain other protected characteristics. The existence of such anti-discrimination laws does not mean that workplace discrimination never occurs, however. In DC and across the country, these types of incidents still take place. Recently, the Supreme Court heard what could be a landmark case related to alleged religious discrimination.
Your workplace should be a place where you feel safe to focus on your job duties and professional responsibilities. Unfortunately, if you have been a victim of harassment, your workplace may have an entirely different -- even hostile -- atmosphere. Whether the sexual harassment takes the form of lewd comments, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate touching or other inappropriate words or actions, the effect of the harassment can be damaging. In some cases, it can create serious mental and physical health problems for the person suffering the harassment, whereas in other situations the harassment may result in job loss or demotion.