Federal and Washington D.C. laws forbid employers from discriminating against workers based on certain characteristics. There are multiple federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on a range of characteristics. Additionally, the D.C. Human Rights Act protects employees in the District of Columbia when they have certain protected characteristics. If you faced adverse treatment in a D.C. workplace because of a protected trait, such as disability, sexual orientation, or national origin, you should consult Washington D.C. discrimination lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. At the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti PLLC, we have years of experience helping those who have been harmed in the workplace.Discrimination in Washington D.C. Workplaces
Federal laws that prohibit discrimination include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Equal Pay Act. Many federal antidiscrimination laws apply only to employees who work for companies with at least 15 employees and are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For those laws enforced by the EEOC, you will need to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC before pursuing damages in court. Additionally, should our attorneys be able to recover damages under these laws, they would be capped based on the size of your employer. Larger companies who commit egregious acts of discrimination are more likely to face large punitive damages than small companies like a mom-and-pop shop.Washington D.C. Discrimination Law
As a D.C. employee, you are also protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employer to discriminate based on 21 protected traits including employees’ race, color, national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity, family responsibilities, genetic information, and political affiliation. Discrimination occurs when an adverse action is taken due to an employee’s protected trait.
Adverse actions in the workplace can include failure to hire, termination, failure to promote, termination, or disparate pay. For example, if you are terminated because you let your employer know you are pregnant, you may have a claim under the D.C. Human Rights Act. Similarly, if you are disabled and you are not promoted to a management position even though you are qualified, because your employer holds stereotypes about disabled employees in the workplace, you may have a disability discrimination claim.
If you make a good faith complaint of discrimination, and your employer makes a negative employment decision because your complaint, you may have a claim of retaliation.Filing a Claim
Unlike the federal laws enforced by the EEOC, such as Title VII or the ADA, which require an administrative charge to be filed before a lawsuit, the D. C. Human Rights Act doesn’t require you to first file an administrative complaint. However, it may be appropriate to file a claim with the D.C. Office of Human Rights within a year of the discrimination and go through mandatory mediation. It is wise to consult a lawyer about your legal options as soon as you realize you may have been subject to employment discrimination. Employment discrimination litigation can be complex, depending on the circumstances, and much may be at stake.Damages
The law recognizes that it can be extremely stressful to lose your job or face other adverse employment actions, whether harassment or lesser pay, due to certain personal characteristics unrelated to your work performance. If our lawyers can prove you were subject to workplace discrimination because you have a trait protected under an applicable law, you may be able to recover damages from your employer, including back pay, front pay, emotional distress, and out-of-pocket costs. If your employer treated you egregiously, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages as well.
In some cases, reinstatement with a defendant employer is possible. In others, the employment relationship has broken down too much for that to be a reasonable solution. Every situation is different.Consult a Seasoned Discrimination Attorney About Your Discrimination Lawsuit
If you were subject to an employment decision that was based on a protected trait, such as your race or sex, you should call seasoned Washington D.C. discrimination lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. We may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for damages against your employer. Mr. Famiglietti represents employees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.
Please note, there is a consultation fee for any calls related to this practice area.