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Private Sector and Federal Employee Law Blog

When it is time to blow the whistle?

One of the most difficult situations an employee can face is that of finding out that an employer in Washington, D.C., is engaging in illegal or unethical conduct. While it may be tempting to immediately blow the whistle, there are several factors that must be verified first.

According to Whistleblower.gov, the number of cases filed each year has increased steadily since 2005. While the initial number settled was 1,902, 2015 saw 3,337 cases receive a determination. While the number of cases is increasing, the vast majority of these complaints are not being won. Of the 3,337 determinations in 2015, 1,665 were dismissed and 723 were withdrawn. Only 485 were settled and another 313 fall in the "Settled Other" category.

The argument for and against non-compete clauses

President Obama's final term is coming to a close, and we find an article in Fortune about his October pitch to ban non-compete agreements, which the author says would "make the rich richer."

The author primarily focuses on low-wage workers:

"Low-wage workers are precisely the group that will benefit from signing agreements not to compete, because they are the ones most in need of the training and life skills that a first job can provide."

The author's case assumes a direct tie from training and life skills to the existence of non-compete clauses in employment contracts.

What is the Merit Systems Protection Board?

Are you employed by any agency or department in the federal government? Are you the spouse of someone who works for the U.S. government? In either case, you may well want and need to understand wha tthe U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board is and how it is intended to benefit you.

According to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, it is an entity that has been established to protect federal employees from illegal or unauthorized practices and also to uphold the stated principles of the board. Some of the things that the MSPB is involved with include the recruitment, training and education of employees. Ensuring that all employees are provided proper compensation for their work is another thing the board does. Preventing discrimination on any number of factors such as race, age and gender is also part of the board's principles.

Are You Willing To Sacrifice Private Medical Data To Save Money?

Like many older workers, you may be facing "retirement age, yet not ready to retire. Professional peers at a later stage in life are working longer. Some feel that they still have something to offer. Others see the need to feather their financial nest to ensure stability as their careers end.

With age comes not only experience and wisdom, but also health problems related to advancing years. These issues can increase the cost of their health care, disability insurance and other employer-provided benefits.

Alan Lescht interviewed in Washington Lawyer Magazine on litigating complex cases

"When it comes to taking risks," writes Tracy Schorn with Washington Lawyer, "nobody bets larger than the lawyers who work on a contingency-fee basis for clients."

In the Nov. 2016 edition of Washington Lawyer (a magazine published by the D.C. bar), Schorn interviewed managing partner Alan Lescht, of Alan Lescht & Associates, P.C.

In the interview, Lescht shared his insights and experiences on how to manage the risk of working on a contingency fee basis.

Advice for federal employees about to file a discrimination complaint

Discrimination can be defined as prejudicial or unfair treatment of a person based on their race, religion, age, sex or healthcare status. Federal employees are protected by law against any such treatment. If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination; as a federal employee there are specific steps that need to be taken before you can file a formal complaint. They are as follows:

You're a federal employee who is facing disciplinary action. What now?

Federal employees who are facing disciplinary actions play by a different set of rules than non-federal employees. Disciplinary actions are typically proposed in the form of suspension or removal based on misconduct or unachieved performance goals (failure to comply with a Performance Improvement Plan [PIP]). If you've been proposed with a disciplinary action, it's likely you have questions about what steps to take next. Some of those might include:

What should you do before signing an employment contract?


Many Washington, D.C., residents, at some point in their lives, will be asked to sign an employment contract. For example, it could be a non-compete agreement, a severance package, a commission plan, a non-disclosure agreement or many other types of employment contracts. However, what workers may not know is that these contracts are often drawn up in a way that protects the employer's interests, not the employee's. Moreover, these contracts could have provisions that can negatively impact a worker's future.

Therefore, it can help to have an attorney review any employment contracts presented to you before signing. An attorney can help negotiate a contract or could help draft one. This way, the contract can reflect the employee's rights and interests, not just the employers.

Can employment contracts like non-competes be made more fair?


Washington, D.C., residents may be interested to hear that recently, based on a joint report by the White House and the Treasury Department, the White House called on states to reform non-compete agreements. Why do so?

Well, first of all, non-compete agreements give workers fewer job options, affecting approximately one in five employees across the nation. This could potentially lead to an increase in unemployment and a slow-down in our nation's job growth.

FMLA protects federal employee rights in Washington, D.C.


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).

FMLA gives certain covered employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave annually, although the leave need not be paid. In addition, FMLA requires that the employee's health insurance be maintained during while the employee is off work.

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  • AV Preeminent
  • AVVO | Newsweek
  • Bloomberg BNA | Law 360 | Government Executive
  • Ten Leaders | WUSA 90
  • SuperLawyers | Univision
  • Washingtonian | abc7 | The Washington Post
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Top Rated Lawyers AV | ThreeBest Rated
I have been a litigator for close to 20 years and Alan is most certainly one of the best attorneys I have ever come across.
Mr. Lescht is an excellent Trial Lawyer, He is calm, cool, and collected.
I also appreciated Alan's frankness and his ability to identify what is important and what is not when going through a case like this.
I would highly recommend Alan to anyone who needs an exceptional and incredibly talented Employment Attorney.
Mr. Lescht is an extraordinarily responsive attorney, returning my emails and phone calls within minutes. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone who thinks they may need a lawyer. Definitely incredible work.
I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism, and I will always be grateful for his guidance.

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