Atlanta Wrongful Termination Attorney
While Georgia is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employer can fire or lay off an employee at any time for most reasons—such as poor performance—they cannot fire an employee because of the employee’s religious beliefs, because the employee filed a claim against the employee, or because the employee refused to engage in an illegal act. There are other scenarios in which wrongful termination occurs, and Atlanta wrongful termination attorney Christine Forsythe at The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC can help you determine whether your employer engaged in an unlawful act by firing you.
Wrongful Termination Discrimination
Employees are protected against wrongful termination and other negative employment actions that are based on the employee’s protected characteristic, including race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age if over 40, disability, and genetic information. Moreover, an employer cannot fire an employee for discussing discrimination in the workplace, or for asking for reasonable accommodation. An employer who fires an employee because of discrimination can be held accountable for the employee’s damages.
Wrongful Termination Retaliation
If an employee files a discrimination claim, harassment claim, or participates in an Equal Employment Opportunity claim in any way, the employer has engaged in wrongful termination. Other examples of wrongful termination due to retaliation include firing an employee for refusing sexual advances, participating in a whistleblower lawsuit, filing a workers’ compensation claim, refusing to do anything illegal or going against public policy, or for exercising any other legal right.
Sometimes an employer, who believes they are being savvy, will create working conditions so atrocious that it forces an employee to quit. By doing so, the employer may believe they will get out of having to pay severance, continuing the employee’s benefits, or pay a higher premium for unemployment benefits. This is called constructive dismissal, and is a form of creating a hostile work environment. An employer guilty of constructive dismissal (harassment) can be sued for damages by violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Wrongful Termination Breach of Contract
Georgia may be an at-will state, but employers cannot terminate an employee by going against the employment contract. An employment contract may outline specific circumstances in which an employee can be terminated, for example by failing to meet a monthly sales quota; if an employer terminates the employee for a reason not listed in the employment contract, they may be breaching the employment contract, in which case they can be held accountable for damages.
Call an Atlanta Wrongful Termination Attorney Today
Employees have undeniable rights in Georgia when it comes to job security. They cannot be fired for any reason whatsoever, even though Georgia is an at-will employment state. Business owners must be aware of the law and how it applies to their employees. Whether you are an employee or an employer, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced attorney for additional legal resources at this time. Call Christine Forsythe at The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC today at 404.476.2717 to schedule a free consultation. Christine Forsythe has tried countless cases to verdict, giving her, and you, a large advantage in the courtroom.