The Firm’s DC Metro Office has extensive experience in both federal and Virginia state employment law. Simms Showers represents both employees and employers on many issues, including wage disputes and unpaid overtime, Title VII employment discrimination, wrongful termination, employment agreements, Family and Medical Leave Act violations, and unemployment claims. The Firm most frequently handles employment matters in the state of Virginia, as well as class-action suits in any jurisdiction, on a variety of matters, including:
- Title VII Employment Discrimination;
- Age Discrimination;
- Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Wrongful Termination;
- Employment Agreements and Contract Actions;
- Wage and Hour Law;
- Family and Medical Leave Act; and
- Unemployment Compensation.
Title VII Employment Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Title VII also covers claims of sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Generally, such claims must be initially brought with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or similar agency before they may be filed in court. The Firm has assisted countless clients in navigating the EEOC process and, if unable to settle at that stage, filing suit for Title VII discrimination.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) prohibits “arbitrary age discrimination in employment….” Simms Showers has assisted clients who have been discharged from a job, denied employment or the opportunity to apply for a job, or discriminated against “with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges or employment” (29 U.S.C. § 623) based on the person’s age.
Americans with Disabilities Act Claims
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified employees or job applicants with disabilities (including individuals with a record of having an impairment or who are regarded as having an impairment, as defined by the Act), if the employee is able to perform the essential functions of a position with or without reasonable accommodation. 29 U.S.C. § 623; 42 U.S.C. § 12111. The ADA provides further definitions of who is a qualified individual, what are the essential functions of a job, what are reasonable accommodations, and what employers are covered by the Act. Our Firm has vast experience applying the complicated rules of the ADA to particular client situations.
Though Virginia is an at-will employment state, there are a few state law protections in addition to the Federal protected categories. Virginia disallows a retaliatory discharge that is for reasons against a public policy of the Commonwealth, such as when an employee refuses to commit an illegal act, files a claim related to unlawful discrimination, or files a worker’s compensation claim.
Employment Agreements and Contract Actions
Simms Showers routinely handles the drafting or review of documents related to employment, such as offer letters or employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, employment handbooks, severance agreements, non-compete or non-solicitation agreements and many other such documents. Additionally, the Firm has represented both employees and employers in actions resulting from or related to the breach of such agreements. For more information, please see the Business and Civil Litigation page.
Wage and Hour Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulates employers in the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local governments, regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and employment standards for minors. Simms Showers has extensive experience in litigating FLSA violations, ranging from employees who were prevented from recording overtime hours worked, to several class-action suits involving FLSA and state law on overtime for state law enforcement officers.
Family and Medical Leave Act
Certain employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for the birth of a child, an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or their own serious health condition. There are qualifications that must be met by both the employer and the employee in order to be eligible for FMLA. The Firm can assist clients in determining eligibility for FMLA benefits and whether employers have violated the FMLA.
Unemployment benefits in Virginia are administered through the Virginia Employment Commission. Employees who are discharged are generally eligible for temporary financial assistance. Simms Showers assists both employees and employers in determining whether an employee is entitled to unemployment benefits and will represent the client before the unemployment commission where necessary.