Employers in Washington, D.C. face a variety of lawsuits from current and former employees. Any lawsuit can be financially devastating for your business, so you need an experienced civil litigation attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, to fight for you. These are the most common types of employment lawsuits in Washington, D.C.
Small businesses are most vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits because they generally do not employ a dedicated human resources professional. If you demote or terminate an employee, they may allege that you did this based on a protected characteristic, rather than based on their performance.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the D.C. Human Rights Act prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on protected characteristics, including:
- Gender Identity or Expression
- Sexual Orientation
- Personal Appearance
- National Origin
- Family Responsibilities
- Political Affiliation
- Genetic Information
- Credit Information
Keeping accurate employee records will prove that you demoted or terminated an employee based on their employment performance, rather than for a protected characteristic.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 40 percent of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes offensive remarks, sexual coercion, and unwanted touching.
Harassment does not have to be sexual in nature. This includes any unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic. An employee may file a harassment lawsuit against their employer if they believe that they can only remain employed if they continue to endure the harassment, or if the harassment creates a hostile, abusive, or intimidating. This abuse does not have to come from management. Co-workers or customers can also create hostile work environments.
An employer becomes liable for harassment if they know that the harassment is occurring and do nothing to correct the situation. If you were unaware that the harassment occurred, your attorney will argue that you are not liable.
Wage and Hour Violations
Currently, the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. is $13.25 per hour, regardless of the size of the employer. Salaried employees must be paid at or above the amount they would receive if paid minimum wage hourly. An employee's immigration status does not affect an employer's obligation to pay minimum wage.
Hours of work include all the time that an employee spends on duty, including employer-required training, travel for the employer's business purposes, and cleanup.
Any employees who work more than 40 hours in one work week are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay.
Keep accurate pay records on a weekly basis, even if you pay employees bi-weekly or monthly. This will show that you are in compliance with minimum wage and overtime laws for each week the employee works for your business.
Has Your Business Been Served With a Civil Lawsuit?
If your business has been served with a civil lawsuit in Washington, D.C., you need an attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, to aggressively fight for you. Call us today at (202) 572-1020 or contact us online.