Articles Posted in Discrimination

When someone files an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit based on an alleged act of race, color, gender, or religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, he or she must be able to establish that the defendant employer discriminated against him or her in the terms and conditions of his or her employment and that the plaintiff’s race, color, religion, or sex was a motivating factor in the defendant’s decision(s) concerning the plaintiff’s employment.

Motions for summary judgment are often filed by the defendant in employment discrimination lawsuits. If summary judgment is granted, all or part of the plaintiff’s claims are dismissed. If the motion is denied, the plaintiff’s case proceeds toward trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recent federal case, the plaintiff was a 56-year-old, dark-skinned, black Christian male who alleged that he had been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination and that he had been retaliated against for complaining about this unlawful discrimination. He filed suit against the defendant employer in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Department, seeking legal redress for the defendant’s failure to pay him for three day of work that he missed while he was on jury duty even though it paid a black woman for her time on jury duty; his supervisor’s failure to grant him religious accommodations on Sundays; certain “negative comments” by his supervisor following his complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and his termination the following month.

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In an Atlanta race discrimination lawsuit, the initial burden of proving wrongful conduct – such as a termination allegedly based on race or color – rests on the plaintiff.

If the plaintiff makes an acceptable showing of discrimination, the defendant is then given an opportunity to argue that the plaintiff’s termination (or other adverse employment action) was based on a legitimate reason rather than on the employee’s race, color, gender, age, etc.

When an employer offers what appears to be a legitimate reason for its conduct towards the employee, the burden then shifts back to the employee to show that the employer’s purported reason for its action was merely pretextual.

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In many Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuits, the employer makes an attempt to have the plaintiff’s case dismissed prior to trial via what is known as a “summary judgment” motion.

Summary judgment is appropriate only when the party seeking such relief is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Whether or not this is so revolves largely around the issue of whether there is anything that needs to be resolved by a jury as the trier of fact.

If the parties agree to the basic facts, the court may decide that summary judgment is appropriate. (It should be noted that both plaintiffs and defendants can file a motion for summary judgment, although the maneuver is much more common among defendants).

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When a veteran employee is suddenly let go from a job, it is not unusual for him or her to at least consider the possibility of filing an Atlanta employment discrimination claim. This is especially so if the employee believes that he or she was unlawfully let go based on a disability or because of his or her age, race, gender, or religion.

Those who think they may have an employment discrimination claim should talk to an attorney as soon as possible, as there are deadlines in such cases that, if not complied with, may result in dismissal of the employee’s claims when they are eventually filed.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a female African-American police detective who was abruptly terminated by the defendant city after 10 years of service. The chief of police of the city was also named as a defendant in the suit. The “ostensible reason” for the termination was that the plaintiff was absent without leave. However, the defendant had, only a few days prior to the termination, placed the plaintiff on indefinite administrative leave pending resolution of the issue of whether or not she could safely be subjected to a Taser Shock or exposed to pepper spray, given her physical condition (she suffered a heart attack in 2009).

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In an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit, a plaintiff may have several potential claims. Some of these may be claims under federal law, and some may be state law claims. In some situations, the defendants may include both a corporate or government employer and one or more individuals.

It is not unusual for some or all of the defendants in an employment discrimination or retaliation case to seek dismissal of the claims pending them prior to trial. It is up to the trial court to determine which claims are viable if such a motion is filed.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a civilian employee of the United States Army. In his suit against the Secretary of the Army, his former supervisor, and the deputy garrison commander, the plaintiff alleged that he had been subjected to unlawful employment discrimination due to his gender, age, national origin, and disabilities and that he had been retaliated against due to his complaints of unlawful discrimination. He sought legal redress under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e – 2000e17; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 – 12117;  the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 – 634; and Georgia state law.
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In order to be successful in an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This requires time, skill, and perseverance, so it is important to talk to an attorney who is experienced in this field of the law if you believe that you may have a case. In most cases, the court will dismiss the plaintiff’s claim(s) well in advance of trial if he or she is not able to put forth credible evidence to support his or her case.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was an African American man who worked as a machine operator in the fabrication department of the defendant employer but was fired after an incident in which a fellow employee was arrested for possession of marijuana in the workplace. According to the employer’s version of events, the plaintiff could not explain what was in his hand in a video that was taken of an apparent interchange between him and the employee who was later arrested. The plaintiff contended, however, that he told the employer that another employee had asked him to buy her a drink and that it was her change that was in his hand. The parties agreed that, after this discussion concerning the video, the plaintiff was terminated from his employment.

After filing a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and being granted a right to letter, the plaintiff filed suit against the employer, as well as a supervisor, a manager, a human resources manager, and the vice-president of the company, asserting claims for disparate treatment and retaliation under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq, as well as for defamation. After the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Waycross Division, granted partial summary judgment to the individual defendants on the plaintiff’s Title VII claims, the employer filed a motion for summary judgment as to both claims pending against it.
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There are several different types of unlawful conduct that may be asserted in an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit: Sex discrimination, race or color discrimination, age discrimination, national origin discrimination, religious discrimination, and/or disability discrimination.

As with other types of civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not always an easy task, given that an employer accused of wrongful conduct will often fight extremely hard against a finding of employment discrimination, so as to discourage other employees from also taking legal action.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who worked for the defendant county for approximately 20 years before applying for a construction director position in 2013 (her job at the time was “Planner III,” which involved coordinating the work of contractors, managing projects, and handling associated paperwork.) The defendant division director was responsible for interviewing candidates for the construction director position and making a recommendation to his supervisor. The plaintiff, along with several others, applied for the job and went through the interview process, but she was not offered the position. Rather, the job was offered to a male who had interviewed for the job, and, when he declined the offer, an offer was made to another male who did not interview for the position (the director knew this individual through other projects). After the second male also turned down the job, the spot was left open.
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In an Atlanta employment discrimination case, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. In order to succeed at trial, the plaintiff must be able to prove each and every element of his or her case. Of course, the defendant in such a case is often quick to seek dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit, sometimes before the discovery process has even begun. In some situations, dismissal of a particular complaint is warranted, but, more often, it is not.

Facts of the Case

In a recent employment discrimination case filed in federal court, the plaintiff was an African-American woman who began working for the defendant college in 2017. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, she was bullied at work and subjected to a hostile work environment. Approximately six weeks after she began her employment, the defendant terminated the plaintiff, allegedly verbally telling her that she was “just not a good fit” and then mailing her a letter stating that her discharge was due to her “failure to perform job duties as assigned.”

Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asserting claims of race discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and harassment by a co-worker. Presumably after that proceeding had been completed, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant in federal court, asserting similar claims. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint.
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As seasoned Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys, we struggle to understand why anyone would choose to represent himself or herself in a lawsuit against a current or former employer. Perhaps, those who make such a dangerous and dubious decision do so because they simply do not know what they do not know.

Attorneys have many years of formal education and training regarding the thousands of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and court rules that could potentially apply to a given case, and they work very hard to stay current, as these laws are constantly changing and being reinterpreted by the courts.

A person who chooses to represent his or her own interests in state or federal employment law litigation is expected to know, understand, and apply the applicable legal principles in the same manner as would an attorney with years of experience in the field. Not surprisingly, most pro se cases end up being dismissed, often on procedural grounds.

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When it comes to legal matters, such as an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit, time is of the essence. When a claim is not filed within the time allowed by law, it will, in all likelihood, be dismissed by the court.

While there are a limited number of circumstances in which an exception may be made, such cases are few and far between. If you believe that you have a possible claim of employment discrimination, it is very important that you contact an attorney who can help you with your claim so that you do not lose the right to seek legal redress from your employer (or former employer, potential employer, etc.).

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a former employee of the defendant hospital. In his employment discrimination lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that he had been subjected to discrimination because of his race and his age. He sought legal redress under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (Title VII), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 to 634 (ADEA). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s cause of action because he had not alleged that he filed suit within 90 days after receiving his right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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