Discrimination, Harassment, & Retaliation

At KCNF, we get it. Most people don’t consult a lawyer because they want to; they consult a lawyer because they have to. For those facing discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims, that is especially true. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping our clients navigate the difficult and emotional process of obtaining justice in the workplace—and coming out ahead. To learn more about our firm and the cases we have handled, click here.


Prohibitions Against Discrimination, Harassment, & Retaliation


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of:


  • Race
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • National origin

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination, the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information.


Many state and local laws provide additional protections including the D.C. Human Rights Act that prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of:


  • Marital status
  • Personal appearance
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Family responsibilities
  • Pregnancy
  • Political affiliation
  • Matriculation (being enrolled in a college, university, or some type of secondary school)
  • Credit information (any written, verbal, or other communication of information bearing on an employee’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history)

Each of these laws prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee or applicant because of prior protected activity.


Tangible Employment Actions


Claims of discrimination are often based on a tangible employment action, such as hiring, firing, suspension, performance rating, or non-promotion. In order to prove a case:


  • “Direct” evidence of discrimination is not necessary — most employees rely on circumstantial evidence of discrimination
  • Employees may compare themselves to others who are “similarly situated” (such as being in the same job category under the same supervisor), but who have been treated more favorably

Hostile Work Environment and Sexual Harassment Claims


A hostile work environment is harassment — based on gender, race, color, national origin, age, or another protected characteristic — so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile, intimidating, or abusive work environment. A harasser can be your boss, a co-worker, or a third party working with your employer.


Examples of inappropriate conduct are:


  • Slurs
  • Offensive jokes
  • Threats
  • Unwanted touching or sexual advances
  • Demeaning or sexual photographs

If you feel that you have suffered discrimination, harassment, or retaliation at work, call us today at (202) 331-9260 or Contact Us.