Comply with the workplace rights and wage laws that protect employees.
The law protects employees from workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Federal, state, and local laws also ensure full and timely payment of your wages and provide other safeguards relating to employment.
How we help employers
We counsel employers on workplace rights to help them comply with the law and create a culture that will let their workers and business thrive. We review and draft new employment agreements, stand-alone agreements, or separation and release agreements, to minimize the risk of dispute and protect your company from allegations of misconduct.
If a dispute as to workplace rights arises, we attempt to resolve the issue informally with minimal cost and disruption. If formal proceedings are initiated, we can represent employers in litigation in state and federal courts in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, or in mediation, arbitration, and agency proceedings.
How we help employees
We work with employees who are reviewing new employment agreements, stand-alone agreements, or separation and release agreements, to ensure they are being treated fairly under the law and receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. We discuss and analyze the circumstances of your employment and termination (whether voluntary or involuntary), and determine what potential claims may exist. We can then negotiate with employers to obtain fair terms and compensation.
If you are not satisfied with the negotiated terms, we can advise you as to your options for litigation, arbitration, mediation, and agency proceedings. We aggressively advocate for our clients in state and federal courts in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and in mediation, arbitration, and agency proceedings.
Protections at many levels
Federal laws protect employees from unlawful discrimination and harassment in hiring and employment. These laws also protect employees from retaliation for engaging in “protected activity,” such as opposing unlawful employment practices or participating in efforts to investigate and enforce the laws prohibiting such practices.
Some of these important federal statutes include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which protects persons 40 or older from workplace age discrimination, including in hiring, firing, salary, and other terms and privileges;
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in workplace application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other areas of employment; and
- The Equal Pay Act, which helps ensure that men and women performing equal work in the same workplace are afforded equal pay.
In addition to federal statutes, state and local laws provide further (and sometimes greater) workplace protections. For example, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act and the Virginia Human Rights Act prohibit discrimination based on an employee’s membership in a variety of protected classes. The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights enforces Maryland’s laws against discrimination in employment.
Many cities and counties also have human rights laws, and commissions to enforce those laws, including:
- City of Alexandria Office of Human Rights;
- Arlington County Human Rights Commission;
- Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs;
- Prince William County Human Rights Office; and
- Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.
Both employers and employees must understand how the law protects workplace rights. Employers need to comply with the law and create a positive culture, free from unlawful discrimination and retaliation. Employees must understand how to ensure they receive the fair and equal treatment to which they are entitled.