In District of Columbia, most employment is considered "at will". This form of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any point, for any reason. The only general exception in "at-will" employment arrangements is that the termination may not be done for reasons which violate the law.
It is essential that you find out what type of employment your work is classified as, because employment that is not considered to be "at will" is subject to different restrictions. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract procedures.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in District of Columbia?
Discrimination is the most common unlawful grounds for terminating an employee in District of Columbia. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. Employers in Washington may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or initiated an investigation into discrimination.
Furthermore, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Finally, an employer may not terminate an employee for refusing to do something illegal, for exercising a legal right, or performing a legal obligation.
Do I Need a District of Columbia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Washington, District of Columbia lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the proper information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.