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Employment Law

David Wachtel joined Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC, on February 1, 2016 to practice employment law, after more than twenty years with other firms.

Typical clients of the employment practice:

  • Employees who have been fired, laid off, or denied promotions.
  • Non-profit organizations needing advice on employment policies and wage and hour issues or needing representation to resolve disputes.
  • Federal employees, particularly members of the law enforcement, intelligence, and Foreign Service communities.
  • Non-profits, start-up companies, physicians, and individuals negotiating employment agreements.
  • Whistleblowers in industries affecting public safety, including nuclear power and aviation.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowers.
  • Workers who have been harassed, stalked, or assaulted.
  • Executives, lawyers, doctors, and other individuals negotiating separation from their employment.
  • Academics denied tenure.
  • Persons with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations.
  • Organizations needing objective, neutral investigations of employment matters.

Representative cases

  • Federal court trial against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, after which the Court awarded promotion and all other available relief to a nuclear engineer represented by David Wachtel. (2015)
  • A binding and final decision by the United States Department of Justice, finding that the Agency's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had denied promotion and harassed a female Special Agent represented by Mr. Wachtel because of her gender and a perception that she was disabled. (2015)
  • A federal court ruling on behalf of Mr. Wachtel's client, a woman who resisted sexual advances from her boss, finding that she was legally protected from retaliation, despite not explicitly calling her bosses conduct "sexual harassment" at the time. (2012)
  • Amicus brief on behalf of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association in Solomon v. Vilsack (USDA). Solomon holds that federal employee receiving disability retirement benefits may pursue claim for failure to provide reasonable accommodation. The holding ended a practice of forcing employees to choose between accepting disability benefits to sustain themselves in the short term or surrendering those benefits to seek full relief for discrimination. (2010)
  • After a two-week arbitration, a retired judge, sitting as an arbitrator, ruled that an employer had terminated a physician's contract without cause, and awarded two years of pay to Mr. Wachtel's client. (2010)
  • In Smith v. Winter, the EEOC ruled that the Navy had denied Mr. Wachtel's client a position at an aircraft maintenance facility based on grossly unsubstantiated assumptions about how his VA disability affected his ability to do the job. (2006)
  • In Adams et al. v. Ameritech, Mr. Wachtel was part of a team that obtained a reversal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, holding that approximately 50 managers who had lost their jobs in mass layoffs had presented statistical and anecdotal evidence that could support a finding that the telephone company had engaged in widespread age discrimination. (2000)






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