Employment Lawyers Washington D.C.
Employment Lawyers Washington D.C.
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Employment Lawyers Washington D.C.
Discrimination, harassment, wage theft, and other ill-treatment at work may not only cause financial losses and stall your career but can also have a devastating impact on your physical and mental health. However, hardworking employees shortchanged or mistreated by their employers could be entitled to significant compensation in Washington, D.C.
When D.C. employers think they can get away scot-free with stealing employees’ wages or breaking labor laws, Morgan & Morgan fights back hard. Our employment lawyers in Washington, D.C., can hold unscrupulous corporations and employers accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.
The time to file an employment claim may be limited, so contact us now to find out more in a free case review.
How a Washington, D.C., Employment Lawyer Can Help You
Employment lawyers play a critical role in protecting workers’ rights and ensuring they are treated fairly and justly in the workplace. An experienced employment lawyer can powerfully represent you in disputes with your employer and advise you on your rights in many work-related issues.
Advise You on Your Rights and Obligations
Employment law is complex and can be difficult for employees to navigate without the help of an experienced lawyer. An employment attorney can “translate” the legalese and help you understand the laws protecting your rights, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Importantly, our employment lawyers can help you determine the best way to respond and assert your rights when an employer violates them.
Employment lawyers can scrutinize employment contracts and help you understand crucial details, such as non-compete clauses, confidentiality agreements, and severance packages. An attorney can also negotiate these terms on your behalf to ensure the contract is fair and reasonable.
Handling Disputes With Employers
Disputes between employers and employees sometimes escalate. Employment lawyers can help workers assert their rights in all kinds of employment disputes, such as:
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and hour disputes
- Contract negotiations
Your attorney will work closely with you to investigate the dispute’s circumstances and gather evidence to support your case. They can negotiate a settlement with your employer or, if necessary, represent you in court to fight for what you deserve.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you are an employee facing harassment, discrimination, wage theft, or another issue in the workplace, seeking the advice of an employment lawyer in Washington, D.C., can be vital to protect your rights. Morgan & Morgan understands that standing up against an employer can feel stressful and daunting. However, our tenacious attorneys can be by your side, help you get fair treatment in the workplace, and handle all aspects of an employment-related legal claim.
Common Wage and Hour Law Violations in D.C.
Wage and hour violations by employers are a serious problem in the US and can cost employees and their families dearly. However, if your D.C. employer violates labor laws, you could hold them accountable and recover damages. Standard wage and hour law violations include:
The FLSA requires employers to pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour. However, according to the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES), the Washington, D.C. minimum wage is $16.10 per hour and $5.35 for tipped employees. Most employees are entitled to the higher D.C. minimum wage.
Whether you work on an hourly wage or salary, your employer should pay you at least the equivalent of the D.C. hourly minimum wage. However, some companies try to get away with paying their workers less than the minimum, particularly in industries such as agriculture and hospitality.
If you are affected by illegal wage theft, you could qualify for significant compensation. D.C. labor laws allow employees to recover up to four times what they are owed, plus attorney’s fees and legal expenses.
According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the District of Columbia Minimum Wage Act, most employers must pay employees time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a week. However, some Washington, D.C. employers wrongly misclassify employees as exempt or miscalculate pay, meaning employees do not receive overtime pay, even if they work over 40 hours.
Denying D.C. workers overtime pay can be particularly common in retail and food service industries. However, hardworking employees in all sectors deserve adequate overtime pay. If you believe you are underpaid, an employment lawyer in Washington, D.C., can help you understand and assert your rights.
Some paycheck deductions, such as federal and state income tax and wage garnishments, are legal. However, employers in D.C. are generally not allowed to deduct any amounts for broken equipment, uniforms, or cash shortages, unless the employee voluntarily agrees to such deductions. If an employer makes an illegal deduction, the employee may get paid less than the D.C. minimum wage.
If your employer decides which hours you work, pays you hourly or by salary, and determines when and how you perform the work, you are most likely an employee and not a contractor.
Classifying employees as independent contractors can give employers a financial advantage as they could save on payroll taxes, benefits, and wage payments. Moreover, the FLSA does not protect independent contractors, which could lead to employers paying them less than minimum wage. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a severe violation of the FLSA and can result in the employer being held liable for back pay and damages.
Failure to Pay Breaks
D.C. employers are not required to provide any breaks throughout the working day. However, if they allow breaks of 20 minutes or less, employers must pay employees during this time. An employer does not have to pay workers for longer meal breaks lasting 30 minutes or more, provided the employee is relieved of all job duties during this time.
You Could Have Legal Recourse
Employers who violate the FLSA or Washington, D.C., labor laws may face severe penalties, including fines and lawsuits. However, workers often do not know what they are entitled to or how to get justice. Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our Washington, D.C., employment lawyers can help you understand your rights and take action if you are affected by an employer’s wage and hour violations.
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Do You Experience Discrimination at Work in D.C.?
Workplace discrimination is illegal and a violation of human rights. Washington, D.C., has several laws designed to protect employees from workplace discrimination and ensure that all employees are treated equally, regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. Workplace discrimination can take many forms, such as:
- Race discrimination: denying job advancement based on race, racial slurs in the workplace, and unequal pay.
- Age discrimination: treating employees aged 40 and above differently, denying employment to older workers, or forcing early retirement.
- Gender discrimination: denying job opportunities based on gender, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and denying access to training or promotions.
- Sexual orientation discrimination: treating employees differently based on their sexual orientation, creating a hostile work environment through harassment, or excluding persons during recruitment.
- Religious discrimination: denying employment or promotions based on religion, requiring employees to work on religious holidays, refusing to accommodate religious dress or grooming practices.
- Disability discrimination: failing to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities, denying job opportunities to people with disabilities, and treating disabled employees unfairly.
- This list of examples is incomplete, and there can be many other ways of illegal workplace discrimination. Employers in Washington, D.C., must comply with anti-discrimination laws, and employees who believe they have been the victim of discrimination can file a complaint with the Office of Human Rights (OHR).
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation is the most frequently filed discrimination claim. Unlawful retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse employment action, such as cutting an employee’s hours, excluding them from promotions, or firing them. Employers could retaliate against employees who:
- Filed or assisted with a workers’ compensation claim
- Filed or assisted with a discrimination or harassment claim
- Complain about illegal activities or misconduct in the workplace
- Request or take family or medical leave
An employer must not retaliate against employees who are exercising their rights.
Retaliation is illegal under federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the FLSA.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
Discrimination and retaliation can deeply upset affected individuals and families, devastating careers and personal lives. If you believe your employer discriminates against you, do not suffer in silence. Morgan & Morgan’s employment lawyers in Washington, D.C., can be your voice and assert your rights to fair treatment.
Am I Entitled to Family and Medical Leave in D.C.?
If you are an employee in D.C., you could qualify for a generous family and medical leave allowance above the 12 weeks of unpaid leave stipulated in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). According to the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are entitled to 16 weeks of unpaid family leave and 16 weeks of unpaid medical leave in 24 months. Eligible circumstances can include:
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Caring for a foster child
- Caring for a seriously ill family member
- Recovering from a severe illness
Moreover, when you return to work, a D.C. employer must restore you to your previous position or an equivalent job.
If you are denied family and medical leave or were demoted upon your return to work, contact an employment lawyer in Washington, D.C., for help and advice.
Can I Get Terminated for Reporting Sexual Harassment at Work?
No, an employer cannot legally fire you for reporting sexual harassment. Retaliation against an employee is prohibited by law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you experienced wrongful termination due to reporting any type of harassment or discrimination at your workplace, you could sue your employer and recover damages.
How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Me?
You don’t have to stand up against an employer on your own. Morgan & Morgan’s employment lawyers in Washington, D.C., can protect your legal rights and fight for your best interests. Some of the ways in which we can help employees include:
- Assess your circumstances and identify your legal options
- File a claim with the OHR or the EEOC
- Collect evidence to prove your case against the employer
- Calculate your back pay and other damages
- Negotiate a settlement with your employer
- File a lawsuit if your employer refuses to compensate you
- Fight vigorously for your best interests at trial
Morgan & Morgan fight for the people and not the powerful. We are on your side and want to help you get what you deserve if an unethical employer exploits or mistreats you.
What Do Washington, D.C., Employment Attorneys Charge?
Some employment attorneys charge hourly fees or retainers. However, in many cases, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that the attorney receives a percentage of the damages if they win. If they lose, neither the attorney nor the client receives any money. However, some attorneys charge their clients legal expenses upfront.
Morgan & Morgan won’t charge you a dime when we take your case. Our fee is free unless and until you receive compensation.
Morgan & Morgan Protects the Rights of Employees in Washington, D.C.
No D.C. worker should experience wage theft, discrimination, or a toxic work environment. Being mistreated or underpaid at work can affect your bank balance and make your daily life miserable. However, as a worker, you have rights and don’t have to stand for it.
Morgan & Morgan employment lawyers in Washington, D.C., have helped countless workers recover what they deserve. We could be here for you too. Get started now and contact us for a free case review to determine whether you qualify for compensation.