Discipline and termination

State procedures

Are there state-specific laws on the procedures employers must follow with regard to discipline and grievance procedures?


At-will or notice

At-will status and/or notice period?

D.C. is an at-will jurisdiction. Therefore, generally speaking, neither an employer nor employee must provide notice for ending the employment relationship at any time for any reason.

What restrictions apply to the above?

Employers may not terminate employees for:

  • discriminatory or retaliatory reasons under the DCHRA, D.C. Code §§ 2-1402.11, 2-1402.61;
  • claiming or attempting to claim workers’ compensation, D.C. Code § 32-1542;
  • having their wages garnished to pay a judgment, D.C. Code § 16-584;
  • receiving or responding to a summons, serving as a juror, or attending court for prospective jury service, D.C. Code § 11-1913;
  • taking family and medical or sick leave, D.C. Code §§ 32-507, 32-531.08; and
  • refusing to violate the law at the employer’s direction, Adams v. George W. Cochran & Co., 597 A.2d 28, 30 (D.C.1991).
Final paychecks

Are there state-specific rules on when final paychecks are due after termination?

Yes. If an employee is terminated, the employer must pay the employee’s wages not later than the next working day following the termination. Where the employee terminated was responsible for handling the employer's money, the employer has four days from the termination date to pay the former employee's wages.