Hospital worker fired five days after reporting a racist joke will have case decided by a jury

April 18, 2017

During her 13 year tenure with Shady Grove Hospital, Sakina Mengle won awards and commendations for her outstanding service to patients.  Five days after she complained about a racist joke told by a coworker, she was fired.  Shady Grove claimed that she was terminated as part of a reduction in force, but on April 18, 2017 U.S. District Court Judge Paula Xinis ruled that there was enough evidence presented for a jury to reject that explanation and instead find that Ms. Mengle’s complaint of discrimination and/or her race were the real reasons she was fired.  The Court cited evidence proving that the Hospital could have met its documented staffing goals without firing Ms. Mengle (or any other employee), but selected Ms. Mengle for layoff soon after learning of her complaint of racial discrimination.  The court scheduled trial in the case for November 2017.  Ms. Mengle is represented by Heller Huron partners Susan Huhta and Richard Salzman.

Firm negotiates $500,000 settlement for man claiming he was denied a job with DCPS due to age

February 7, 2017

Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman attorney Rick Salzman won a $500,000 settlement for the firm’s client against the District of Columbia.  The client, a former public school teacher and Department of Education employee who wished to return to the classroom either as a teacher or as an assistant principal upon retirement from his career as a civil servant, settled the case on the eve of trial.  The client had applied to DCPS open positions for several years, but each was rejected, despite the client having over three decades of experience in the field of education.

Firm named as one of the Best Law Firms in Washington, D.C. for 2017

November 1, 2016

The firm is proud to announce that U.S. News & World Report once again recognized Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman as a "Tier 1" law firm in the areas of civil rights and employment law for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman has been named to the U.S. News & World Report list each time it has been published, beginning in 2011, and the firm is proud to once again receive this honor.

Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman Welcomes New Associate

October 11, 2016

Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman is pleased to welcome Julia Quinn as an associate in our firm.  Julia is a 2014 cum laude graduate of the University of Texas Law School.  Following graduation, she clerked for Judge Alan Kay of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and later served as a Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Health Law Program, where she worked on legal issues involving reproductive rights and enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the health care context.


Partner named "Lawyer of the Year" for 2017

September 15, 2016

Best Lawyers, a partner publication of The Washington Post and one of the oldest peer review guides to the legal profession worldwide, has named firm partner Stephen Chertkof as the Lawyer of the Year for 2017 in the area of Civil Rights Law.

Firm wins $1.6 million jury verdict

March 4, 2016

Yesterday, Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman won a $1.6 million jury verdict in Fairfax County, Virginia.  The client, Thad Kemp, had brought suit against his former employer UNICOM for wrongful discharge and breach of contract.  The jury awarded Mr. Kemp $1 million in punitive damages. 

Kemp worked for UNICOM for nearly ten years, and the CEO, Corry Hong, fired him for refusing to waive his right to commissions he had already earned.  Kemp sold leasing arrangements to federal agencies for computer equipment, and in 2013 he reached an oral agreement with UNICOM that he would be paid commissions in line with an established company scale.  He then landed a deal that brought millions in profits to UNICOM, and the company reneged on its promise of commissions.  Instead, Hong, the CEO, sought to intimidate Kemp into releasing his claims to the commissions, and threatened to fire him and blackball him in his career of federal contracting.  When Kemp refused to waive his rights to commissions, Hong fired him.

The case was tried by Steve Chertkof, Rick Salzman and Cassandra Lenning.

Firm secures reinstatement for three employees in religious discrimination case

April 20, 2015

The Washington Nationals have reinstated three employees who during Opening Week sued the Nats for religious discrimination.  The three – Tony Green, Lloyd Cobey and Ralph Jones – are Seventh-day Adventists.  Their religious belief does not permit working on their Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday).