Common Types of Employee Lawsuits Washington DC Employers May Face
As an employer, there is always a fear of being sued by an employee for violating employment and labor laws. Even small employers can benefit from the services of a Washington DC labor & employment attorney who can sit down and review your current policies and procedures to ensure they comply with all regulations and make sure your human resources and supervisory staff are familiar with what types of actions and behaviors could result in a claim against your business.
At Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing, our attorneys work closely with a wide variety of employers, including private businesses, teaching hospitals, non-profit entities, and other professional practices, to help reduce the risk of employee claims and lawsuits.
Here is a look at some of the more common types of claims and lawsuits companies may face from current and/or former employees.
A discrimination lawsuit is filed when an employee feels that his or her employer engaged in some type of illegal discriminatory behavior. Discrimination-based lawsuits can result from actions based on a variety of factors, including religion, race, gender association, nationality, sex, age, or disability.
It’s not uncommon to see a discrimination suit filed after an employee has been terminated due to poor performance or was passed up for a promotion he or she thought they deserved. In many cases, the employee is angry and sees discriminatory behavior when there is not any to start with. If you or one of your supervisory team members is terminating someone or is passing on an employee for a promotion, document everything in their employment file in the event they come back later claiming discrimination.
Harassment is another source of employee lawsuits against their employer. The harassment can come from a co-worker or a boss. In these situations, the company can be held liable as well if the harassment can be proven. Harassment lawsuits are not only borne out of possible sexual harassment, but also from inappropriate racial jokes, bullying, overt hostility, etc.
When an employee feels they were terminated for an inappropriate reason, you’re likely to be on the receiving end of a wrongful termination lawsuit. Like with any other aspect of employee relations, it’s important to keep thorough records on all aspects leading up to a termination. If you had been documenting the employee’s poor performance for the past six months, it’s a lot harder for the former employee to claim they were fired for discrimination, retaliation, etc.
Wage and Overtime Claims
Failure to pay the proper wage and earned overtime pretty much guarantees your employee will be filing a claim against you for back-owed wages and/or overtime. You must have employees classified correctly as well. Just because you want to put someone on salary, it doesn’t mean current labor laws allow you to classify the person as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime. This is one of the areas where a Washington DC employment and labor law attorney can certainly help.
Contact a District of Columbia Labor Law and Employment Attorney
If you need assistance with your existing business, or you are starting a company, let us help ensure all your policies and procedures are in compliance with current laws. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing today to schedule an initial consultation.