When you go to work, you likely hope your employer will gauge your value by your work performance, rather than by your identity. Employment discrimination occurs when an employer treats a person or group differently from other people in the workplace due to a protected characteristic such as sex, race, national origin, or religion. Federal and local law protects different characteristics, though there is some overlap. In general, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act protects more characteristics and is broader than federal law. If you believe you were harmed by employment discrimination in the District of Columbia, you should call experienced Washington, D.C. employment discrimination attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. We are patient and consistent, providing every case with the attention it deserves. We work closely with clients so that they understand their options and can make the right decisions.Employment Discrimination
Several federal laws and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act may apply to your employment discrimination case. For instance, federal antidiscrimination laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Many of the antidiscrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They apply to midsize and large employers. Under these laws, damages are capped based on size of employer.
The District of Columbia Human Rights Act offers greater protection in most cases. It forbids discrimination on the basis of 21 protected traits; it prohibits discrimination not only in employment, but also housing, educational institutions, and public accommodations. You should consult an employment discrimination lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area to determine if you fall into a protected group.
Protected traits under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act include color, race, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, personal appearance, family responsibilities, disability, political affiliation, familial status, matriculation, income source, and genetic information, place of business or residence, status as a victim of domestic violence, and credit information.
Discrimination includes any negative employment actions taken against you because of a protected characteristic. Adverse employment actions can include termination, failure to hire, failure to promote, demotion, disparate pay, failure to provide training, and harassment.
You may have an employment discrimination case under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act if, for example, your employer did not promote you because you are transgender and it believed customers would not like that. For another example, you may have a national origin claim if you were not hired because a prospective employer believes you were Middle Eastern. Similarly, you may have a claim if you ask for reasonable accommodation for your disability and your supervisor begins harassing you about your disability and giving you poor performance reviews. Talk to an employment discrimination attorney representing clients in Washington, D.C. to see if you have a case.
If you are black and your coworkers and supervisor call you the n-word and leave nooses on your desk, and HR tells you to learn how to take a joke, you may have a claim for racial harassment.Filing a Discrimination Claim
You can file a discrimination claim with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights or the EEOC. These agencies cooperate with each other on claims, assuming the laws they enforce both apply to the employer that is subject to the claim. You'll need to indicate to one agency you would like to cross-file the claim with the other agency. When your workplace has fewer than 15 employees, you will need to file with the Office of Human Rights (OHR). However, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act doesn't require you to file with the OHR before pursuing a discrimination claim in court.
There are short windows of time within which you must file your charge of employment discrimination. It's important to seek legal counsel as soon as you realize you might have a claim.Consult a Washington, D.C. Employment Discrimination Lawyer
If you believe you have grounds for an employment discrimination lawsuit in Washington, D.C., you should talk to Matthew T. Famiglietti about your situation. Mr. Famiglietti is dedicated to serving workers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He also represents federal employees. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.