When you go to work, you hope to be treated fairly and to be judged on your work performance rather than an aspect of your identity. If you are worried about an employment law matter in Washington, DC or the surrounding area, you should discuss your situation with seasoned Washington, DC employment discrimination lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti also represents clients in matters related to asylum, special education, claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Social Security Disability benefits.
Employers are constrained in their relationship to employees by both federal and local laws. Disputes between an employer and employee may arise when an employer violates discrimination, wage and hour, leave, or accommodation laws. Sometimes disputes arise because of a breach of an employment contract. Often employers have significantly more resources and access to legal advice than do their employees. You may need an experienced attorney to represent you if you have a legal dispute with your employer and hope to be on equal footing.
Federal and local laws prohibit employment discrimination based on a range of protected characteristics. Federal antidiscrimination laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Many of these laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A Washington, DC employment discrimination lawyer can assist you in understanding your rights. You’ll need to file a charge with the EEOC prior to bringing a lawsuit in federal court. The Washington, DC Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on a range of protected characteristics including color, race, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities, and disability.Sexual Harassment
Workplace sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination forbidden by Title VII and the Washington, DC Human Rights Acts. It includes degrading comments based on sex, sexually charged conduct, touching, groping, pornography, memes, insults, slurs, violence, and threats of violence. In a Title VII case, the court may categorize sexual harassment as quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs if your employment is conditioned on submitting to sexual advances. This type of harassment can only be committed by somebody who has more power than you in the workplace such as your supervisor or manager. An employment discrimination attorney in Washington, DC also can help you bring a claim based on hostile work environment harassment. This occurs when an employee is harassed based on a protected characteristic and the harassment is severe or pervasive enough to change workplace conditions or generate a hostile work environment.Wrongful Termination
In Washington, DC, employment is at will. This means you can be terminated or laid off at any time and for no particular reason. However, there are exceptions. You cannot be terminated in violation of the law or your contract terms. For instance, you may have a wrongful termination claim if you were terminated in retaliation for complaining to human resources about racial harassment. A wrongful termination claim could also be brought if your contract specified you were only to be let go for “just cause” and you were fired for no reason. It is also possible to assert wrongful termination in violation of public policy in some cases. In a wrongful termination lawsuit, you may be able to recover lost wages and benefits. If your employer acted egregiously, you may be able to get punitive damages with the assistance of an employment discrimination lawyer in Washington, DC.Wage and Hour Law
Unfortunately, some employers take shortcuts to avoid paying their workers the full amount of wages to which they’re entitled. If you feel you haven’t been paid your full wages, consult an employment lawyer. Wage and hour violations may involve failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, failing to pay for all of an employee’s compensable time, asking employees to work off the clock, violating meal or rest break rules, or misclassifying employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying them according to wage and hour laws. The federal wage and hour laws are primarily found in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When federal law provides greater benefit to employees than local law does, it will apply. Otherwise Washington, DC law will be applied. For instance, the District of Columbia’s minimum wage is $13.25 per hour, whereas federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour; the District of Columbia minimum wage should be paid.Asylum
An important part of our practice involves representing asylum seekers. Asylum is a form of protection that may be sought by refugees from other countries. You can seek asylum if you came to the United States because you suffered persecution or fear persecution in your home country based on your political opinion, membership in a particular social group, nationality, religion, or race. If you’re seeking asylum, you need to file a Form I-589 within a year of arriving in the United States. Alternatives to asylum include applications for withholding of removal and the Convention Against Torture.ADA Claims
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that forbids discrimination based on disability. Under the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially restricts one or more major life activities. You can also seek ADA protection if you’re perceived by others as having such an impairment or you have a record or history of such an impairment. ADA protection applies to employment, public accommodations, transportation, and communications. For instance, the ADA guarantees those with disabilities equal access to public transportation; a public transportation provider can’t refuse to provide you with transportation because you have a disability. If your employer has at least 15 employees, it cannot discriminate against you because of your disability.Special Education
Special education law is a highly specialized area of law. One of the primary special education laws is the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which provides protection for disabled students age 3-21. Under this law, your child has the right to a free appropriate education that addresses his or her particular needs as a disabled student. As a parent of a disabled child, you are entitled to make decisions about education for your child until he or she is 18-years-old. This means you are entitled to ask that your child be assessed for special education services. You can also ask that he or she be assessed for any area of disability that impedes progress in school. You’re also entitled to have the school develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to handle your child’s special needs. Although you and your child have specific legal rights, school districts and schools do not always meet their legal obligations, which is why it can be important to retain an experienced attorney. If you can’t resolve your dispute directly with the school, you can request an administrative due process hearing.Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is a government program that provides benefits to adults who’ve become disabled and are unable to work for at least a year. In order to be eligible for benefits, you must have earned a certain amount of work credits; these are based on your earnings prior to becoming disabled. Up to four work credits may be earned in a single year. You also need to be considered disabled. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines disability by looking at whether an applicant can work in his field or adjust to a new job based on a serious medical impairment. You can qualify based on one impairment or multiple impairments, but your inability to work needs to be long-term and complete.Retain an Attorney in Washington, DC
If you need a Washington, DC employment discrimination attorney or representation in another workplace dispute or a matter related to asylum, special education, or a disability, you should consult Matthew T. Famiglietti. Our firm is dedicated to client service. We represent people throughout Maryland and Virginia as well. Call our office at (202) 669-5880 or complete our online form.
Reach Us at (202) 669-5880
Matthew T. Famiglietti
As a long-standing member of MWELA, Matthew has over 25 years of experience in Employment Discrimination law and has settled or won cases against multiple federal agencies as well as private sector firms. He has worked with clients to have their security clearances restored, keep their jobs, and obtain reasonable accommodations. He has worked with clients to obtain financial remuneration after they had already lost their jobs due to various forms of discrimination.
Washington DC Employment Discrimination Lawyer | USA Asylum Attorney | Matthew T. Famiglietti
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