Certain life events may lead to a person in Washington, D.C., from being unable to work for a period of time, particularly situations involving pregnancy, childbirth or an extended illness. People should be able to take the time off from work to care for themselves in these situations, without fear of being fired. Some people have employment contracts that address such situations, but is there any protection for those who do not? Actually, federal law has addressed this issue in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Employees in Washington, D.C., need to know that if their employer is engaging in unethical or illegal behavior, they have the right to report such actions to the appropriate authorities without fear of losing their jobs. In fact, the amount of money the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded to whistleblowers has risen above $100 million, with some whistleblowers receiving as much as $30 million.
Sometimes, workers who try to do the right thing by reporting employer misdeeds, are wrongfully fired for doing so. However, when this is the case, it is possible that the employee may have legal recourse. Take, for example, a Washington, D.C., fire captain, who has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the district in the amount of $2.5 million. She claims she was wrongfully terminated after being unfairly blamed for a sluggish response, the fire department had to a 2008 fire in an apartment complex in Mount Pleasant. The woman had been a firefighter for 18 years.
When an employee in Washington, D.C., believes he or she was wrongfully terminated, they may take legal action, via filing a lawsuit against their employer. However, while a successful lawsuit may allow the employee to recover compensation, such as compensatory damages and back pay, there is always the chance that the employee's lawsuit will not succeed, meaning the employee will get nothing. Moreover, in some situations, it is hard to prove one was wrongfully terminated. Therefore, many employees in Washington, D.C., who have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit ultimately decide to settle.
This post is not a political endorsement. Its purpose is to call attention to the way our culture often treats women in America.
Most people in Washington, D.C. who work are employed "at-will." For some, this is true even if there is an employee handbook or an employment contract. Therefore, it is important to understand what this means, particularly when it comes to wrongful termination.
Some Washington, D.C. residents may have experienced being the target of workplace discrimination at some point. Not only does employment discrimination affect a person's job, but it can also have untold effects on their psyche. It could be so bad as to ultimately cause the employee to resign due to the hostile work environment that the discrimination fostered. In other cases, an employer might discriminate against, or even terminate, an employer who reports the hostile work environment.
Wells Fargo is a long-established name in the banking industry, and one expects that it will act with integrity in its business activities. Therefore, Washington D.C. residents may be shocked to hear that the banking giant got caught firing 5,300 workers for reporting that the company was making fictitious bank accounts, false bank card personal identification numbers and false email accounts. The bank was penalized $185 million for these actions.
This blog has covered numerous stories of individuals who blew the whistle on their employer's unlawful activities. It is important to hold Washington, D.C. employers accountable for their actions, and sometimes the only way to do that is to report your employer's acts to the appropriate authorities. Therefore, it is important to know what steps to take, should you find yourself in such a position.