Experienced Fairfax VA Employment Lawyer

Representative Cases

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Wage & Hour
  • Whistle Blower

Matthew Sutter on NBC

Matt on TV

What is Wage Theft?

Wage Theftis the nonpayment or under-payment of wages.

  • Employees are not paid minimum wage or overtime
  • Employees do not receive a final paycheck
  • Employees are not paid for time worked
  • Employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime
  • Employers take illegal deductions from an employee’s paycheck

What are the federal laws prohibiting Job Discrimination?

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

There are other federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination and retaliation and some state and local regulations may apply.

Can I sue for a Hostile Work Environment?

Verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or retaliation, may amount to unlawful harassment. If the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; or if a supervisor’s harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits (demotion, termination, failure to promote, etc.), there may be a right to sue.

My boss says I’m a contractor. Does that mean I cannot get overtime pay?

Even "contractors" can be entitled to overtime pay. How your boss labels you may not matter under federal law. Accordingly to the Department of Labor, the factors that a court will consider are: 1) The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business; 2) Whether the worker’s managerial skills affect his or her opportunity for profit and loss; 3) The relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and the employer; 4) The worker’s skill and initiative; 5) The permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer; and 6) The nature and degree of control by the employer.

Does my employer have to pay me overtime and my “fringes” on government funded projects?

Yes. Recently a federal appeals court ruled that when the FLSA requires overtime be not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which the worker is employed, the ‘regular rate’ to be used for this calculus is the rate set forth under the Davis Bacon Act. See Jorge Amaya v. Power Design, Inc., 15-1691 (4th Cir. 2016)

Fairfax Va Employment Lawyer


  • Discrimination
  • Overtime
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wrongful Termination

This information is provided by a Fairfax VA employment lawyer. Our firm handles cases involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour law and EEOC claims. We assist those who have been harmed at work and seek compensation. We regularly represent employees who have suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and or have otherwise suffered unjustly at work. Case result summaries below are for informational purposes only, and good results in the past do not guarantee good results in the future.

Case Summaries

  • In 2018 settled a claim of disability discrimination for a Maine professor against a national for profit online university for $44,000. The professor was fired for requesting a larger computer monitor
  • In 2018 settled a racial harassment case for a Prince William VA truck driver for $251,300.
  • In 2018 settled a case of #metoo gender discrimination on behalf of four Fairfax VA retail workers for $145,000.
  • In 2018 settled a claim of employment discrimination for a New York, NY job applicant who was not given a job interview on the basis of his age for $50,000.
  • In 2018 settled a wrongful termination claim for a Woodbridge VA driver who became injured at work for half a year’s salary. This was in addition to the $30,000 workers compensation award and the $9,000 she received from unemployment.
  • In 2018 settled an abuse of process claim for over $10,000 on behalf of an Arlington Va tech worker after she discovered her former employer had submitted false documents about her to the Unemployment Office. She also got all of her unemployment.
  • In 2018 settled a claim of hostile work environment and constructive discharge for a Fairfax Va secretary for two months of wages.
  • In 2018 settled a claim of retaliation and disability discrimination for a Prince William Va employee against a federal agency for over $100,000.
  • In 2018 settled claim of retaliation and racial discrimination for a Fairfax Va worker for a confidential sum. Black v. The City of Fairfax, 1:18-cv-00622-AJT-TCB (E.D. Va. 2018).
  • In 2018 settled a racial discrimination claim for an ex-felon from Alexandria, VA. for $20,000 against a multi-state catering company.
  • In 2018 settled an unpaid overtime claim for $21,500 for Fairfax Va resident. Vicente Santiago v. Wise Solutions LLC et al., 1:18-cv-00272-AJT-IDD (E.D.Va. 2018).
  • In 2018 settled a claim of retaliation for a Woodbridge Va. waitress for $5,500.
  • In 2018 settled a claim of racial discrimination for a confidential sum for an Alexandria Va worker. Plummer v. Kapusaba LLC, 1:18-cv-00231-TSE-JFA (E.D. Va. 2018).
  • In 2018 settled a retaliatory discharge claim for a Fairfax Va hairdresser for $10,000.
  • In 2018 our client, a Stafford County Va HVAC tech was sued by his former employer for reimbursement of some training classes he took. Big mistake. We filed a counterclaim for unpaid overtime among other counts and they ended up paying us over $13,000.
  • In 2018, after nearly a year of litigation, resolved a claim for over $100,000 worth of unpaid severance on behalf of a Fairfax, Va executive.
  • In 2018 obtained a judgment for $55,923.50 for unpaid wages, penalties and attorney’s fees on behalf of two Prince William Va solar panel installers.
  • In 2018 obtained a confidential settlement for a class action lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act regarding unsolicited text messages. Reyes v. Millicom Americas, LLC et al, 1:17-cv-00337-LO-JFA (E.D. Va. 2017).
  • In 2018 settled a sexual harassment claim on behalf of a Prince William Va veterinarian tech for half a year’s salary.
  • In 2018 settled a class action lawsuit against a DC restaurant chain for unlawful meal deductions and uniform deductions for over five time the amounts owed. The defendants also paid all the legal fees.
  • In 2018 settled a wrongful termination claim behalf of an administrative assistant against a Fairfax Va doctor for $11,000.
  • In 2018 after the defendant employer stiffed two Arlington Va drywall installers, they sued for their wages in Small Claims court. Rather than pay them their wages, the defendant employer hired a lawyer who tried to dismiss their case on technical grounds. Sutter & Terpak, PLLC filed a new pleadings on behalf of these drywall installers under the D.C. Wage Payment Act and settled their claims for four times the amounts they initially sued for in Small Claims court.
  • In 2018 settled claims for wages worth less than $2,000 on behalf of four undocumented Prince William Va construction workers for $4,000.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for unpaid overtime on behalf of a Reston Va lab worker for $47,500.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for a Herndon Va woman for unpaid overtime for $8,000 against a flower shop. The claims were barred by the statute of limitations but the defendants paid based on her claims for extending the statute of limitations.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for full back pay and attorney’s fees against a Prince Georges County Md. worker who was terminated after he injured his leg.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for an Arlington, Va construction worker for $10,000 after he was assaulted at a construction site by a co-worker.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for unpaid overtime and other statutory damages for two bus boys for $35,000. Chicas et al v. Pho Deluxe Arlington Inc. et al., 1:18-cv-00039-CMH-TCBVAED (E.D. Va. 2018).
  • In 2018 resolved a race-based wrongful termination claim for an Alexandria Va medical worker for $40,000.
  • In 2018 resolved a race-based wrongful termination claim for an Alexandria Va medical worker for $9,000.
  • In 2018 resolved a race-based wrongful termination claim for an Alexandria Va medical worker for $18,000.
  • In 2018, settled wrongful termination claim of injured Fairfax Va retail store manager for $35,000 who was fired after falling off ladder.
  • In 2018 a verdict for four times the amount of unpaid overtime for a 7-Eleven employee in Washington D.C. Alam v. Khan et al, SC2017-2214 (D.C. Superior Court 2018)
  • In 2018 settled a wrongful termination claim for $34,000 for a Loudoun VA groundskeeper who was terminated after suffering a seizure at work.
  • In 2018, prevailed on a plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion for unpaid overtime for two Fairfax Va bartenders. The court ordered $46,964,94 in unpaid wages and damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $41,098.50. See Riggle et al v. The Revolution Darts and Billiards-Centreville, LLC et al, Case 1:17-cv-00792-CMH-IDD (E.D. Va. 2018)
  • In 2018 resolved a wrongful termination claim for two Alexandria Va deli workers who complained about unsanitary conditions and were terminated. Amer Boshra Sabet et al. v. The Fresh Market, Inc., Case 1:17-cv-01006-LO-MSN (E.D. Va.)
  • In 2018 resolved a claim for unpaid overtime for an Arlington, Va cook/dishwasher against a local restaurant for $20,000.
  • In 2018, after beating the defendant’s summary judgment motion, resolved a wrongful termination claim for a medical tech who was falsely accused of forging a doctor’s note. Jane Bailey v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc., Case No.: 1:17-cv-00625-TSE-JFA (E.D. Va.)
  • In 2018 resolved a claim for unpaid commissions for two Washington DC salesmen under DC wage payment laws against an international consulting firm. Travis Dennis, et al. v. IHS Markit Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-01658-TSC (D.D.C.)
  • In 2018, settled two claims of anti-Hispanic harassment and wrongful termination against a Loudoun manufacturer whose manager chastised Hispanics for not speaking English for $28,000. The manager was fired.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for an undocumented laundromat worker in Fairfax who was denied breaks and overtime pay for $13,000.
  • In 2018 settled a claim for an undocumented Loudoun house cleaner who was fired after she became injured cleaning an apartment for $10,000.
  • In 2018 settled a claim of wrongful termination for a cook at a Fairfax Va retirement home for $18,500.
  • In 2017, after discovering from the IRS that her payroll taxes had not been paid, negotiated a resolution where her former employer paid $17,500 for a Fairfax Va to a consultant. Client’s former employer remained also responsible for the unpaid taxes.
  • In 2017 settled a claim for unpaid commissions owed to an Alexandria, Va showroom worker for $7,500.
  • In 2017 settled a claim of retaliatory discharge for $30,000 on behalf of a Loudoun warehouse worker who had previously complained about sexual harassment.
  • In 2017 settled an employment law retaliation claim against a non-profit for a Human Resources professional in excess of $45,000. She complained about racist behavior and after she was subjected to an organization-wide reduction in force.
  • In 2017 settled an overtime claim for a Fairfax VA laundromat worker for $10,000. Our client’s wages were paid in full and she paid no legal fees. The defendants paid the legal fees.
  • In 2017 obtained a reversal of unemployment benefits on appeal in Fairfax County for a wrongfully accused medical technician. The court ruled that denying our client her unemployment benefit was “unreasonable, legally deficient, arbitrary and capricious.” The case was reported in Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
  • In 2017, obtained a judgment for $25,000.00 and $17,425.00 in legal fees for an Alexandria Va maintenance worker who was terminated for complaining about not getting overtime pay.
  • In 2017 settled a class action complaint on behalf of Spanish speaking service workers involving unfair arbitration agreements.
  • In 2017 resolved an invasion of privacy claim for an Alexandria retail worker who’s confidential medical information was unlawfully disclosed by his manager. The manager was fired and the worker received $40,000.
  • In 2017 resolved a FMLA claim for $20,000 for a janitor who was accused of quitting his job when in fact he was at home sick.
  • In 2017 negotiated a settlement for a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim for a constructively discharged Alexandria, Va secretary for a year’s worth of wages.
  • In 2017 negotiated a $30,000 settlement for unpaid overtime for two security guards.
  • In 2017 negotiated a settlement for twenty teacher aids for nonpayment of wages. Each claimant was paid in full and the defendants paid the legal fees.
  • In 2017, resolved a retaliation complaint for $50,000 for a Fairfax VA communications executive terminated shortly after reporting a coworker’s sexual harassment of a secretary.
  • In 2017 resolved an employment law case for nearly a year’s worth of wages for a fired Fairfax VA secretary.
  • In 2017 resolved an employment law claim for unpaid wages and false tax advisements for two construction workers for $23,000.
  • In 2017 resolved an employment law claim for unpaid wages and false tax advisements for a clerk at a dry cleaner’s for $17,500.
  • In 2017, obtained a judgment in excess of $250,000 against the owners of a restaurant for wage theft. Khaer et al v. Al Kawthar International LLC. et al., 1:16-cv-00652-JCC-MSN (EDVA).
  • In 2016, working with a team of civil rights lawyers, assisted in the prosecution and settlement of a case involving an Alexandria VA African-American subjected to racial discrimination and unjustly accused of shoplifting at a major department store. Berry v. Target Corporation et al., 1:16-cv-00897-TSE-MSN (EDVA).
  • In 2016 negotiated a religious and racial harassment claim for a Woodbridge, Va receptionist for nearly a year’s worth of wages after she protested unfair, yet favorable treatment by supervisors of her co-workers.
  • In 2016 negotiated a sexual harassment and battery claim for a terminated Alexandria Va female call center worker for $40,000.
  • In 2016, $40,000 confidential severance agreement for a wage theft whistle blower in Falls Church VA who reported a company for failing to pay overtime.
  • In 2016, settled a six figure employment law case for the wrongful termination of an epileptic terminated for missing work due to seizures and her employer’s failure to accommodate her disability.
  • In 2016, worked with a team of lawyers fighting unfair HOT lane violations in Alexandria Federal Court. The HOT lane law was later changed. Brown et al v. Transurban USA, Inc. et al, No. 1:2015cv00494(E.D. Va. 2016)
  • In 2016, obtained a six figure settlement against bakery owner for wage theft. Andree et al v. Kamawi Inc. et al., 1:15-cv-01338-JFA (EDVA)
  • In 2016, obtained a court-approved settlement in excess of $120,000 for five housekeepers denied overtime and meal breaks in Washington, DC. Martinez et al v. Cinderella Services Inc. et al 1:16-cv-00391-AJT-MSN (EDVA)
  • In 2016, settled an employment law claim based on female against male harassment and wrongful termination for an Arlington VA retail store clerk against a Fortune 500 company for $85,000.
  • In 2016, after four years of investigation, resolved a reverse discrimination case for $80,000 on behalf of a Fairfax hospital worker forced to quit her job.
  • In 2016, negotiated an age discrimination settlement for a former hotel desk clerk for $65,000 against an Alexandria VA hotel.
  • In 2015, resolved an employment case for nurse terminated by a federal agency allowing for reinstatement with back pay and legal fees.
  • In 2015, negotiated a confidential settlement for retail worker assaulted by a co-worker in Fairfax VA.
  • In 2015, settled a sexual harassment employment law case involving a federal agency for $100,000. The harasser was demoted and disciplined. The federal employee continued at her position and was protected from further reprisal.
  • In 2015, obtained a $10,000 settlement for a wrongfully terminated Vienna VA at-will employee and a convicted sex offender.
  • In 2015, settled a six figure wrongful termination employment case for a Fairfax nurse terminated for reporting abuse of patients by nursing home staff.
  • In 2015, obtained a confidential settlement in excess of $140,000 against the owner of an interstate flooring company for overtime wages and penalties for four warehouse workers.
  • In 2015, negotiated a favorable severance agreement for a single father who was threatened with termination for missing work to care for his child.
  • In 2014, obtained $10,000 on a sexual harassment employment claim for a victim who was terminated after failing a drug test in Arlington VA.
  • In 2014, successfully obtained a class wide settlement for female striking bus drivers in Arlington VA alleging unlawful harassment.
  • In 2014, obtained a confidential settlement in excess of $65,000 for five housekeepers who were denied overtime pay and meal breaks.
  • In 2013, obtained a confidential settlement in excess of $80,000 for four housekeepers in Alexandria, Va who were denied overtime pay and meal breaks.
  • In 2013 resolved class wide claims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination for female employees of a large refuse company.
  • In 2013, after nearly a year of whistle blower litigation, negotiated a confidential settlement for $100,000 for unpaid commissions and back pay for a wrongfully terminated, nonprofit executive in Arlington VA who reported the company’s failure to pay overtime for laborers.
  • In 2013, obtained a settlement in excess of $100,000 for five undocumented warehouse workers who were denied overtime, meal breaks and water breaks.
  • In 2013, settled a claim of pregnancy discrimination against a college for $40,000 after an employee received a write-up for pumping breast milk.
  • In 2013, negotiated resolution providing nearly a year of severance pay for a teacher fired after she became too sick to work.
  • In 2013, obtained nearly a year of severance pay for a defense contractor terminated for behavior associated with an untreated mental illness.
  • In 2011, favorably settled a confidential business dispute for $950,000. The client paid no legal fees up front.
  • In 2010, obtained a confidential six figure settlement in an employment law case for a Fairfax VA woman terminated from her position as a secretary for reporting her boss’s racist behavior.
  • In 2009, obtained an confidential settlement on behalf of an Alexandria VA security guard terminated for praying. A-Ahmed v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc., 1:09-cv-00253-LMB-IDD. (EDVA)
  • In 2007, with a team of lawyers obtained a judgment including punitive damages and penalties for securities fraud involving the sale of a restaurant to an immigrant family. Arias v. Jokers Wild, Inc., 73 Va. Cir. 281 (Fairfax Co. 2007).
  • As a law student, assisted in drafting the appeals for two Fairfax African-American trash truck drivers. On remand the case resulted in the largest racial discrimination verdict in Virginia history; over $5,000,000.00 for two drivers. White v. BFI Waste Servs., LLC, No. 1:02-cv-01832 (EDVA) see also Washington Post, “2 Trash Men Each Awarded 2.6 Million Dollars in Bias Suit” p. B1, B4 (December 22, 2004).
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