You are conscientious at work, putting in the effort to do a good job and earning your wages. Can your employer fire you if you did not do anything wrong? The answer is yes, but not always. Georgia permits employers or employees to sever ties with each other for no reason. This arrangement is called ‘at-will.’ However, sometimes employers terminate employees with federal and state protected status, characteristics beyond an employee’s control, such as how old or what sex or race they are.

Employers are not permitted to terminate you as retaliation for being a whistleblower. They cannot harass you or allow others to harass you to get you to quit. There is a nuanced exception to firing someone in a protected class. This occurs when a requirement is crucial for performing the job. If you believe your employer fired you unlawfully, an Atlanta wrongful termination lawyer with Feldman Legal Group can guide your next step. Let an employment attorney help you seek justice.

Discrimination Laws

Along with federal discrimination laws, including under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees discrimination violations in the workplace, the state enforces its own laws.

Georgia’s Fair Employment Practices Act mirrors the EEOC’s prohibitions against discriminating because of an employee’s race, color, nationality, disability, religion, sex, or age. The law applies to public and private employers with at least 15 workers.

Georgia Code § 34-1-2 codifies The Georgia Age Discrimination Act, protecting employees who are at least 40 until they reach 70, no matter how many employees work for the company.

Georgia businesses with at least 10 employees must pay male and female employees performing the same job on the same scale under the Equal Pay Act. Mitchell Feldman and his team of Atlanta wrongful termination attorneys are dedicated to fairness in the workplace. Our clients are routinely compensated for the wrongs done to them by employers, whether we represent them in front of regulatory agencies or juries.

Other Unlawful Employer Actions

Employers often wrongfully terminate employees for reasons other than their protected class. Common reasons employees are wrongfully terminated include:

  • Political affiliation
  • Requesting time away from work under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Requesting leave to fulfill military duty, usually in the military Reserves
  • Retaliation for acting as a whistleblower and reporting workplace discrimination, wage and hour violations, or fraud
  • Requesting time off for jury duty

Whistleblowing employees and those who report discrimination do not have to be involved in the wrongdoing. Discrimination can be reported to the EEOC and whistleblowing could involve rewards from the government, reinstatement, and damages awards from filing civil lawsuits. Our wrongful termination attorneys in Atlanta do not rest until airtight evidence convinces regulatory agencies and juries.

Gathering Evidence of Unfair Firing

Employees should look for telltale signs they are about to be wrongfully fired. Employers who berate or belittle them, demote them, pass them over repeatedly for promotions that go to less qualified workers, single them out for caustic emails or embarrass them in front of others, and suddenly alter performance evaluations negatively when the work has not deteriorated may be setting them up for dismissal. Take notes. Save emails. Snap pictures that back up suspicions of wrongful termination. Any information could be helpful when an Atlanta attorney is building a wrongful termination claim.

An Atlanta Wrongful Termination Attorney Seeks Justice for Employees

You and your employer can sever your working relationship at any time for no reason, according to at-will employment rules. If your employer’s given reason is unlawful and based on discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you do not have to take it.

It is unlikely that your employer will tell you your termination is unlawful. But there are signs and evidence to gather as proof. You can recover lost pay and additional money for your emotional distress, be reinstated, and see your employer punished with fines. If you suspect an illegal firing, the Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers at Feldman Legal Group could seek justice for you. Call now to discuss your case.