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Involuntary Terminations: District of Columbia

Involuntary Terminations requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline and Tareen Zafrullah, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP


  • Under District of Columbia law, terminations "for cause" are not statutorily defined. However, the Displaced Workers Protection Act requires contractor-employers to show cause for before terminating holdover employees. See Terminations "For Cause."
  • Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under various District of Columbia statutes. See Anti-Retaliation Protections.
  • Both public and private employers whose employees fall under regulations governing District of Columbia employees are prohibited from taking adverse personnel action against employees who report certain behavior to supervisors or public entities. See Whistleblower Protections.
  • Employers of Career and Educational Services employees and individuals appointed to the Excepted and Legal Services are required to adhere to the District of Columbia's procedures concerning reductions-in-force. See Layoffs, Reductions in Force and Plant Closings.