Wrongful Termination

Defending Employers Against Unsubstantiated Accusations

Friedlander Misler is a boutique law firm established in Washington, D.C. more than 60 years ago. Our lawyers represent tri-state and national businesses in matters related to their workforce. We regularly accept referrals from out-of-state law firms that require local counsel in employment cases.

Under most circumstances, an employer is permitted by law to terminate or lay off an employee without cause. However, in some cases, termination can expose a business to a wrongful termination claim. Our attorneys help companies develop policies that avoid the risk of litigation. We also help businesses defend against EEOC grievances and lawsuits.

Company Policies

Whenever possible, Friedlander Misler takes steps that avoid costly litigation. In furtherance of this goal, our firm advises companies on policy development. Your employee handbook should clearly outline your expectations of your employees, acceptable employee conduct and dress, reasons for dismissal and the process of dismissal. To avoid a wrongful termination claim, you should follow company procedures and document your decision when you terminate any employee.

Discrimination Claims

Your business is prohibited from making employment decisions based upon a worker’s protected class. Although you may not have intended to discriminate, your company may conduct layoffs that inadvertently favor one class over another. Or a recently terminated employee may claim discrimination to save his or her job.

Our attorneys advise employers throughout the termination process. First, we take steps to avoid an EEOC discrimination claim by following defined protocol when you terminate your employee. We also help you to collect evidence that supports your legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for making the decision. Through these efforts, you will have the necessary documentation to challenge a discrimination claim.

Whistleblower Claims

Whistleblower statutes protect employees who have filed a grievance, reported illegal activity or are cooperating in an investigation. Whistleblower laws do not grant immunity from termination or other unfavorable workplace decisions. Nonetheless, should you need to fire a whistleblower for unrelated reasons, you may face accusations of wrongful termination. We assist clients in documenting the legitimate reasons for dismissal, such as excessive absences, persistent tardiness, unethical conduct, violations of company policies or other actions that support your decision.

Breach of Employment Contract

Our firm negotiates effective employment contracts that include clauses governing termination. Depending upon your particular circumstances, we may establish benchmarks that the employee must satisfy as part of the contract. We also typically insert provisions that express the causes for dismissal based upon certain conduct of the employee. Before you terminate an employee, we thoroughly review the contract to ensure your actions do not violate the terms of your agreement. Breach of an employment contract is governed by employment and contract laws, so short of taking unlawful action, you are permitted to act within the four corners of your contract.

Learn More About Avoiding and Challenging a Wrongful Termination Claim

Friedlander Misler counsels clients on employee dismissal and defends businesses against wrongful termination claims. Call our firm at 202-872-0800 to schedule an appointment with our dedicated employment law attorneys.