What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in DC?

Stressed businessman feeling down after received Termination of Employment Form in paper brown envelopeLosing a job is never easy, but when the termination seems unfair or unjust, it can be particularly devastating. In Washington, D.C., employees have specific protections against wrongful termination. Understanding these rights is crucial for anyone who believes they’ve been fired without cause. Let’s explore what constitutes wrongful termination in the District of Columbia and how Robinson & Geraldo, PC, can help protect your rights.

The Basics of Wrongful Termination in D.C.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that violate the law or public policy. D.C. law offers greater protection to workers.

While the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA) serves as a cornerstone of employment law in Washington, D.C., there are several specific scenarios that frequently give rise to wrongful termination claims:


The DCHRA explicitly prohibits discrimination based on protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, and source of income. Terminating an employee due to any of these factors is a clear violation of the law and constitutes wrongful termination.


The D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act protects employees who report illegal activities, safety violations, or regulatory breaches by their employers. If an employee is fired for engaging in such whistleblowing activities, it is considered retaliation and can lead to legal action against the employer. Additionally, retaliation for exercising other legal rights, such as taking medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or requesting reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is also prohibited.

Breach of Contract

If an employment contract exists, whether written or implied, the terms of that contract govern the employment relationship. If an employer terminates an employee without adhering to the terms of the contract, such as firing without cause when the contract requires just cause, it can constitute wrongful termination. It’s important to review your employment contract carefully to understand your rights and the conditions under which termination is permissible.

Violation of Public Policy

This category encompasses terminations that violate the public interest or contravene established public policies. For example, firing an employee for refusing to participate in illegal activities, reporting safety hazards to relevant authorities, or exercising their right to serve on a jury are all examples of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. While there may not be a specific law prohibiting these actions by employers, the courts recognize the importance of upholding public policy and protecting employees who act in the public interest.

Remember, if you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated in Washington, D.C., seeking Columbia workers compensation lawyers is crucial to understanding your rights and options.

What to Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated

If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully terminated in Washington, D.C., taking swift and decisive action is crucial to protect your rights and seek potential remedies. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

Step 1: Document Everything

Immediately begin gathering any and all evidence related to your termination. This includes:

Step 2: Consult an Employment Law Attorney

The complexities of employment law can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with the emotional fallout of losing your job. An experienced employment law lawyer can provide invaluable assistance by:

Step 3: File a Complaint

Depending on the specific grounds for your wrongful termination claim, you may need to file a complaint with one or more government agencies:

By taking these proactive measures, you can better protect your rights and pursue the justice you deserve. Remember, you don’t have to face this situation alone. The experienced employment law attorneys at Robinson & Geraldo, PC are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights.

We’re Here for You!

If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, don’t hesitate to contact Robinson & Geraldo, PC. We’re committed to helping you achieve justice. Call (202) 544-2888 or visit this page to schedule a consultation.