EEOC finds client was victim of discrimination and retaliation when FDA denied her a promotion

September 13, 2018

On September 13, 2018, following a three-day hearing, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a ruling finding that our client was the victim of race discrimination and retaliation when she was denied promotion to a GS-13 position because she is Chinese, and in reprisal for her previous complaints of discrimination.  The Commission also ruled that our client would have advanced to the GS-14 grade by the time of the hearing, and awarded her promotion to that level.  In addition to the two promotions, the Judge also ordered the agency to pay all back pay, with appropriate step increases, restore more than two hundred hours of sick leave that our client used, pay compensatory damages of $35,000, and reimburse our client for all of the attorneys’ fees and expenses she incurred while prosecuting her claims.  Richard Salzman represented our client over her now eight-year battle with the FDA.

Client prevails on retaliation claim in arbitration

July 26, 2018

A firm client prevailed on his claim of retaliation after a two-day arbitration hearing.  The client, whose work performance was outstanding, had raised an internal complaint of race discrimination and was terminated from his job mere weeks after.  The proceeding was undertaken against the client’s former employer, a large business; the arbitrator determined that its decision to fire the client was retaliatory, in violation of both state and federal law, and awarded the client back pay and his attorney fees.  Steve Chertkof was lead counsel.

Firm resolves religious discrimination and reprisal claims against Chipotle

May 14, 2018

In May 2018, our client resolved claims against Chipotle following a determination by the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights finding good cause to believe that he had been discriminated against based upon his religion, and fired in reprisal for raising concerns about this discrimination.  Chipotle had refused to provide our client, who is a practicing Muslim, with paid break time to pray during the work day.  When our client raised concerns about this decision, he was immediately fired.  Julia Quinn and Richard Salzman represented the client in proceedings before the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights which lead to the resolution of his claims. 

Firm named as one of U.S. News & World Report's top law firms in Washington, D.C. for 2018

November 1, 2017

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. This is the eighth straight year that U.S. News & World Report has put out its rankings of the best U.S. law firms, which are gathered by a nomination and peer review process. You may find the firm's detailed rankings here:

The overall 2018 rankings are found here:

Firm wins $750,000 verdict in federal jury trial

October 20, 2017

Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman attorney Rick Salzman won a complete victory for client Ron Coats, as he prevailed on his claims of both race discrimination and retaliation in a federal jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Mr. Coats—an African-American man—was fired after a productive, three-decade career at the Department of Education.  He was fired by his new supervisor—a white man—shortly after lodging complaints of race discrimination.  After hearing this story, the jury awarded Mr. Coats $750,000 in damages.

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.