District of Columbia law prohibits employers from disciplining or discharging employees in retaliation for exercising certain rights or responsibilities including the following:
Burden of proof. If an employer is charged with retaliatory discharge, the employer is innocent until proven guilty. While this rule affords some protection to the employer, circumstantial evidence, such as a string of good evaluations followed by a sudden turnaround, can be devastating. Conduct a careful audit before terminating an employee who has filed, for example, a workers' compensation or Equal Employment Opportunity claim, to ensure that you will be able to show conclusively, with both testimony and documentation, that the “protected” conduct was in no way related to the discharge.
Discrimination complaints. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for filing a complaint under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DC Code Sec. 2-1401.01 et seq.).
Garnishment. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for having wages garnished to pay a judgment (DC Code Sec. 16-584).
Jury service. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for receiving or responding to a summons, serving on a jury, or attending court for prospective jury service (DC Code Sec. 11-1913).
Leave — family and medical leave. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for taking leave under ...