The Firm represents employees across Virginia and the District of Columbia in employment-related matters including sexual harassment, discrimination, defamation, battery, retaliation, wrongful termination, and covenants not to compete. We also negotiate severance packages for clients who are leaving their employment. At BerlikLaw, we understand the unique economic and personal power an employer has over an employee and that trauma that can result from wrongs in the workplace. We fight to ensure the judge and jury is presented with a full picture of the financial, emotional and reputational damage done in these situations, using expert testimony as needed.
Employees often feel powerless to stop the harassing or discriminatory treatment by their supervisors, knowing that their salaries and benefits depend on continued employment. Moreover, victims of discrimination are often concerned that if they complain or challenge a supervisor's illegal actions, they will suffer an adverse employment action such as a demotion or termination as punishment for mentioning the illegality and embarrassing the company. While such retaliatory behavior is not uncommon, it is illegal and may constitute grounds for a lawsuit in federal court. We help employees combat unscrupulous supervisors and employers, while taking steps to ensure the victims are not subjected to further harassment or abuse.
Age discrimination claims are also on the rise in Virginia and across the United States. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act helps protect older workers in the workplace. This federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against their older workers and from using age as a negative factor in deciding which employees to lay off in the event of a restructuring or reduction in force. Unfortunately, it is quite common for companies to target older, more senior employees for termination because of their higher salaries. Many courts have emphatically rejected these business practices in which the plain intent and effect is to eliminate more expensive older workers in favor of retaining their younger counterparts with lower salaries.
The firm also deals frequently with non-competition agreements, representing both employees and employers with respect to such contracts. Such arrangements are not always binding, especially if they are not drafted by competent counsel. Virginia law requires that the legitimate business interests of the employer be balanced with the employee’s right to earn a living. Lee Berlik knows what it takes to successfully oppose overly broad non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, and is experienced in assisting employers in drafting non-competition agreements that appropriately balance all legally-recognized interests.
If you have been the victim of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on your race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identification, national origin, age (if you are 40 or older), disability (mental or physical), or sexual orientation, or if you believe your employer retaliated against you for voicing opposition to discriminatory practices or treatment, give us a call for a confidential consultation. At BerlikLaw, we stand by our clients and help them protect and enforce their rights under state and federal law, including the United States Constitution and Virginia Constitution.