Are you a victim of wrongful termination in Washington, D.C.? Employment laws in the District of Columbia consider employment contracts at-will contracts. This means that an employee is contracted at will and can be discharged for any legal reason. At the same time, an employee may voluntarily leave employment provided the reason for termination is not illegal. Washington, D.C. is guided by public policy exceptions that protect employees from wrongful termination of employment.
Grounds for wrongful termination
Even when employment relations are at will, certain exemptions give rise to wrongful termination. These exceptions are common:
Contractual violations: an employer cannot fire you if there is a contractual agreement cemented by policies that indicate what actions or omissions are grounds for dismissal. With a collective bargaining agreement, an employer cannot dismiss you at will since they will be liable for breach of the contract.
Statutory exceptions: Even with the existence of contractual agreements, an employer cannot fire you if the termination violates a statute under district or federal laws. Violations, in this case, include discrimination based on age, disability or sexual orientation, whistleblower retaliation, and just compensation retaliation. The Federal 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act enforce statutes that protect employees from unlawful termination.
Public policy violations: Employment law in Washington, D.C. provides for public policy violations that constitute unlawful termination. Such violations include refusing to participate in illegal activities or executing a duty under public obligation.
Because Washington, D.C. is an at-will employment district, wrongful termination claims may be difficult to prove. Thus, they require experienced employment lawyers. However, if you feel your termination was unwarranted or unlawful, you will have to prove it to establish grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
Remedies for wrongful terminations
As with all wrongful termination cases, there are fixed deadlines by which you must file your claim. In Washington, D.C., you have three years to file for your wrongful discharge claim. With all legal procedures in place, you may win various remedies from your employer including reinstatement of your previous position, monetary damages for financial losses endured during the period of dismissal, and punitive damages for the psychological distress.
If you believe that you have been terminated on unfair grounds, contact our Washington, D.C. law firm. Our wrongful termination lawyers will review your case with a free consultation. Contact us at 206-838-2504 to talk with one of our attorneys for legal advice.