For some Washington, D.C. residents who have been diligently seeking employment, finally having a job offer is something to celebrate. When being offered a job, a worker may be given an employment contract to sign. However, workers in situations like this should not be hasty, but should make sure they look for key clauses that could have a major effect on their employment.
Washington, D.C. has many old government buildings, many of which contain asbestos, a cancer causing substance. Therefore, workers fixing or demolishing these buildings need to take extra precautions, including wearing face masks equipped with respirators so that they do not breath in the dangerous fibers. According to one worker, while the job has its dangers, it pays well. However, some claim that such work is tarnished with acts of racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
A new federal agency will soon take over background investigations. The National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) will replace the Federal Investigative Services program in the coming weeks and months. Like its predecessor, the new agency will be responsible for handling security clearance investigations and background checks - a critical function for vetting employees and contractors who will have access to sensitive government information.
Gender inequality is a major issue in both the public and private sectors. It's not limited to entry-level positions or blue collar work. Even in the most advanced fields, women who devote decades to their careers often face greater obstacles than men when it comes to getting ahead.
Washington, D.C. workers who report their employer's illegal actions have done the ethical thing. Unfortunately, they may find that until their claim is resolved, they face an increasingly hostile work environment, leading up to unlawful retaliation, including wrongful termination.
Some federal employees and private sector employees in Washington, D.C. find that, due to the nature of their jobs, they face workplace hazards on a daily basis. If a worker finds that he or she is subjected to unsafe work conditions, and his or her employer will not address and remedy the situation, he or she may file a complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But, does an employee have the right to refuse to work in such situations?
If a government worker in Washington, D.C. feels that they were retaliated against for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, that person may want to pursue legal action. There are a number of elements that must be proven in a First Amendment retaliation case.
Our First Amendment right to free speech is one of the most highly valued rights in the United States. However, what some Washington, D.C. residents may not know is that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits only the government from making laws that infringe on free speech, among other rights. Private employers do not fall under the First Amendment, so private employees in general may be let go from their jobs based on what they say; although this right of employers may be restricted in other circumstances, such as by a union contract or rights afforded to whistleblowers.
When employees in Washington, D.C. enter into an employment contract, they naturally expect that the terms of the contract will be fair. However, oftentimes employment contracts are written in a manner that favor the employer and protect the employer's interests, rather than the employee's. Therefore, contract disputes can sometimes occur either during the course of a person's employment, or if the employee is let go from his or her job.
Workers in Washington, D.C. are sometimes in the position of learning that their employer is doing something illegal. They may wonder what to do with this information. Fortunately, agencies such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have programs to encourage employees to report illegal activities that their employer is committing, specifically, securities fraud.
As discussed on this blog in the past, most employment in the nation is "at-will." This means that an employer does not need any particular reason to fire a worker -- he or she could do so on a whim. That, however, doesn't mean the employer can break the law. In fact, one big exception to the at-will doctrine is wrongful discharge. For workers in Washington, D.C. who do not have an express employment contract, common law has established that a wrongful discharge claim may exist under an implied contract.