The relationship between employers and employees in Washington, D.C. is governed by both federal and local laws. Employers must adhere to laws concerning employment discrimination, sexual harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and wages and hours. Unfortunately, some employers do not abide by these laws. You may be able to obtain injunctive relief or damages by filing a lawsuit. If you need a seasoned Washington, D.C. employment lawyer, you should consult Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti can advocate for your legal rights in an employment dispute or represent you in a lawsuit.Employment Law
Many people spend a large percentage of their life at work. The law recognizes the power imbalance between employers and employees and protects workers from certain kinds of mistreatment on the job. As an employee, you are entitled to work in a safe environment, free from discrimination and harassment, and to be paid fairly. Unfortunately, employers don’t always follow employment laws; sometimes legal violations are inadvertent, but in other cases they are deliberate. Employment law disputes can arise with regard to employment discrimination, wages and hours, sexual harassment, the ADA, employment contracts, and collection of union fees. Although employment is at-will in the District of Columbia, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit if you are terminated in violation of the law, your employment contract, or public policy. Talk to an employment attorney in Washington, D.C. to learn more about your rights as an employee.Employment Discrimination
Employment discrimination is prohibited by multiple federal laws and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. The latter is more comprehensive than the former. Discrimination occurs when you are treated adversely by your employer due to a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics under federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include race, color, sex, religion and national origin. Other federal laws include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the ADA. The District of Columbia Human Rights Act protects twenty-one traits. These include disability, color, national origin, race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, personal appearance, and political affiliations. You can file a complaint under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act with the Office of Human Rights or directly in court.Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination. It can be perpetrated by either sex and the perpetrator and victim may be of the same sex. Sexual harassment may involve any negative conduct based on the victim’s sex including groping, touching, crude remarks, pranks, sexual assault, threats, violence, graphics, or memes. A sexual harassment lawsuit may be pursued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. Unlike Title VII, there is no cap on damages when a claim is filed under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. An employment lawyer based in Washington, D.C. can assist you in bringing a lawsuit to help you obtain injunctive relief such as rehiring or promotion, along with compensatory damages.The Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA provides protection against disability discrimination in the workplace. The ADA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It applies to employers with at least 15 employees. If you wish to file a claim under the ADA, you must meet the law’s specific definition of disability. The ADA provides that a disability is a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits a major life activity like seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing or caring for oneself. You are protected if you have a history of this type of disability or if you are perceived to have a disability even if you don’t. The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with disabilities, unless to do so would present an undue hardship.Wages and Hours
Wage and hour disputes may involve minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks, or meal breaks. Whether you have rights under wage and hour laws depends on your employment classification. Certain classes of workers including salaried employees and independent contractors are exempt from wage and hour laws. However, some employers deliberately misclassify workers in order to avoid complying with wage and hour laws and providing benefits such as workers’ compensation. Often, if federal labor law and local labor law both address the same issue, the law that is more protective of workers will apply. For instance, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $13.25/hr and thus employers must pay nonexempt employees this amount rather than the lower federal minimum wage.Retain a Washington, D.C. Employment Attorney
If you need a seasoned attorney, you should talk to Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti is dedicated to serving his clients’ legal needs in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. His clients include federal employees. Call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880 or complete our online form.