Articles Posted in Employment Law Cases

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted with the purpose of ending discrimination against individuals with disabilities by making it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability.

In order to assert a claim under the Act, a plaintiff must be able to prove that he or she is disabled, is a qualified individual, and was subjected to unlawful discrimination due to his or her disability.

If you believe that you have a claim under the Act, you should talk to an Atlanta disability discrimination attorney about filing a claim. There are time limits in such cases, and it is important that you assert your legal rights in a timely fashion.

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Filing an Atlanta employment law claim can be a complicated endeavor. Unlike many other types of cases, there may be pre-filing requirements that, if not complied with, can result in a claim be dismissed later on.

If you believe that your employer has violated state or federal law, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation as soon as possible. An attorney can explain your legal rights, help you investigate your case, and make sure all the appropriate paperwork is filed in a timely manner.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who went to work as an employee financial representative for the defendant company in 2013 and had exemplary job performance for her first two years of employment. After witnessing her husband commit suicide in 2015, however, the plaintiff’s work performance suffered because she was grief-stricken and emotionally raw. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, a few months after her husband’s death, the plaintiff reportedly requested an accommodation, but both her manager and his supervisor refused her request. Thereafter, the plaintiff was granted short-term disability leave. About a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her work performance continued to deteriorate, her requests for a transfer to a different office were denied, and she was eventually terminated.

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Everyone wants to be paid fairly, from the most modestly paid fast food worker to the most highly compensated executive. Even judges want to be paid every penny that they are due. In addition to state and federal laws regarding wage and hour issues, there may be other remedies available to a worker who believes that he or she has not been paid fairly. An Atlanta employment law attorney can explain the process of seeking back pay or other compensation that you may be due if  you suspect that your employer has acted illegally with regards to payment of your salary or wages.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a state court county judge who filed a petition seeking a writ of mandamus against the defendants, a county and several of its commissioners. According to the plaintiff, she was owed back pay and other relief due to the defendants’ violation of Georgia Constitution of 1983, Article VI, § VII, Part V. The constitutional provision upon which the plaintiff relied states, in essence, that an incumbent judge’s salary, allowance, or supplement is not to be decreased during his or her term of office; the plaintiff averred that the county had improperly calculated her salary, resulting in an illegal reduction in her overall compensation each year from 2007 to 2017.

The trial court ruled in the defendants’ favor, holding that the plaintiff’s mandamus action was barred by gross laches but, even if it was not, mandamus was not an appropriate vehicle for the relief sought by the plaintiff and, even if mandamus was proper, there was no merit to the plaintiff’s claims.

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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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There are many ways in which an employer can violate an employee’s rights under state, federal, or constitutional laws. However, not every disagreement about matters in the workplace is actionable in court.

Most Atlanta employment law cases go through a lengthy pre-trial phase, in which an employer may seek dismissal of all or some of the employee’s claims if the employer believes that the employee’s claim(s) is not viable. The trial court makes the initial decision in such situations, but an appellate court may eventually weigh in if one or both parties seeks further review. If you feel your rights may have been violated by your employer, it is important to discuss the matter with an Atlanta employment law attorney.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (the circuit court that hears appeals from federal district courts located in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama), the plaintiff was a man who brought multiple claims against the defendant employer in federal court. These claims included retaliation claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a), (Title VII); defamation claims; alleged violations of the Federal Privacy Act; and claims that the defendant violated the plaintiff’s rights under the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

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Discrimination based on race, gender, and age is still alarmingly common. If you believe you have been a victim of such unlawful conduct, you should talk to an Atlanta employment discrimination attorney about the possibility of filing a claim against your employer.

However, you should be aware of the requirements of such a claim, namely, that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to proof his or her case. This is not always easy, as most employers deny that any discrimination actually occurred.

Instead, the employer will likely point the finger at the plaintiff, blaming him or her for creating a situation that led to the dismissal, demotion, or failure to promote about which the employee complains.

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An Atlanta employment law case can have many nuances and potential complications. Thus, it is critical that the plaintiff in such an action receive dependable, accurate legal advice. If you think you may have a claim against your employer, you should talk to an attorney right away. A lawyer who is experienced in handling litigation between employees and their current, former, or potential employers can help steer you through the complex process of asserting your legal rights.

Sometimes, an employee may have more than one claim, or an employment-related claim may affect other, pending litigation. Hence, it is important to let your attorney know about litigation to which you may be a current or potential party.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who sent ante litem notice of a whistleblower claim to the defendant county in August 2016, informing it of a claim that may have arisen as early as September 2015 pertaining to alleged retaliation and demotion for her refusal to succumb to the demands of a certain county commissioner to use an amphitheater (which she managed, on the county’s behalf) for his private gain. Her lawsuit followed a few weeks thereafter. Meanwhile, the plaintiff’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which she filed in 2014) was proceeding in federal court.
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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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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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