Articles Posted in Employment Law Cases

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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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Each Atlanta employment law case is unique, with its own set of facts and issues. In addition to matters such as sexual harassment and employment discrimination, the issue of compensation is fairly common.

Disputes about an employee’s pay can occur at many different pay levels, from employees who maintain that they were not paid even the federally mandated minimum wage to professionals who claim that they were not compensated according to a written or oral agreement between them and the business for which they worked. At the end of the day, everyone – from the lowest paid to the most highly compensated individuals – want a fair wage for the work they have done.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who had an unpaid clerking position with the defendant law firm while he was attending law school. After obtaining his license, the plaintiff accepted a job as a “contract associate” with the firm. Via an employment agreement (in the form of a letter), the law firm agreed to compensate the plaintiff for his services by paying him a part of the fee earned by the firm upon the resolution of cases in which he was involved. The exact amount of compensation was not specified but was to be determined on a case by case basis.

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There are many different types of Atlanta employment law claims – employment discrimination, retaliatory discharge, and sexual harassment, just to name a few.

Workers’ compensation claims and even unemployment law claims can also occur because of things that occur in the workplace.

A recent claim by a worker – who sought to have his action certified as a class action – involved alleged negligence by the state in the handling of certain personal information obtained as part the workers’ claims for unemployment benefits or other services.

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When workers are party to a collective bargaining agreement, they typically have rights beyond those generally afforded to employees under the law.

When an employer runs afoul of the provisions of such an agreement, there may be consequences, including an Atlanta employment law claim and/or proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

If a party is aggrieved by the decision of the Board, there is the possibility of further review from an appellate court.

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There are many different issues that can arise in an Atlanta employment law dispute. In addition to matters like discrimination and harassment, an employee may seek legal redress for unpaid or underpaid wages.

Sometimes, such a claim is pursued under state or federal wage-and-hours laws, but this is not always the case.

Depending upon the circumstances, a breach of contract action may provide a viable remedy for an employee who believes that he or she has not received the pay that he or she was rightly due.

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An Atlanta employment discrimination case can be complex, with multiple allegations and several different theories of recovery.

For example, a worker may allege that he or she has been treated in a way that runs afoul of state or federal anti-discrimination laws.

The employee may further allege a claim for retaliation if he or she reported the initial act of discrimination and, thereafter, was the victim of adverse employment action (such as being passed over for a promotion) as a result.

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It’s been said that “breaking up is hard to do.” While this can certainly be true of romantic relationships, it can also be true of professional Georgia business partnerships. Just as former spouses and romantic partners can go from being in love to holding one another in contempt, business relationships, too, can deteriorate to the point where parting company is the only workable solution. Of course, sometimes one (or both) parties to a breakup holds onto the hostilities and acrimonious feelings, causing the situation to worsen over time.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the “contentious relationship” of two former business partners (doctors, who worked together as partners in an Atlanta medical practice) resulted in litigation that made its way all the was to the state’s highest court. The plaintiff complaint alleged causes of action for (among other things) civil conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, slander and oral defamation, and tortious interference with business relations.

After the defendants filed a motion to strike matter from the plaintiff’s pleading on the ground that it was “scandalous,” the trial court struck approximately 15 paragraphs of the plaintiff’s complaint. The intermediate court of appeals reversed most of that order, and the defendants appealed. Continue reading →

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It is not unusual for a potential employee to be asked to sign a covenant not to compete as part of the hiring process in certain industries, particularly those involving sales. These agreements are clearly designed to favor the employer, not the employee, and are designed to prevent the employee from “stealing business” from the employer by luring customers to another company should the employment relationship end.

If the employee leaves his or her employment and the employer believes that the covenant not to compete has been violated, it may file suit against the employee, seeking injunctive relief, attorney fees, and other possible remedies. If you have a question that relates to a covenant not to compete, reach out to an Atlanta employment law attorney.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a building supply company that sought to enforce a contractual agreement entered into between it and the defendant, a former employee. In September 2017, the trial court entered an order in the plaintiff’s favor, ordering the defendant to cease competing against it as a salesman (or in other capacities) for a period of two years. Less than two months later, the plaintiff filed a motion for contempt, claiming that the defendant had disobeyed the court’s order.

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An Atlanta employment lawsuit can arise in many different contexts. The legal remedies that may be available to a person whose employer has acted in violation of the law can vary, depending upon the circumstances. It is important to note that the plaintiff in such a case has the burden of providing credible evidence of the employer’s alleged wrongdoing, or else his or her claim will likely fail.

Facts of the Case

In a recent federal case, the plaintiff was an African-American female police officer who filed suit against the defendants, a city manager and a police chief, seeking relief under three federal statutes (42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 42 U.S.C. § 1985) due to her termination for actions during a traffic stop involving a personal acquaintance. At first, the plaintiff was only placed on administrative leave so that an investigation could be performed. An outside agency then investigated the matter and concluded that the plaintiff had violated the standard operating procedure of the police department for which she had worked for some 15 years. More specifically, the agency determined that the plaintiff may have violated a procedure governing professional image and may have committed an obstruction of the deputies involved in the traffic stop. At some point after the investigation, the plaintiff was terminated.

The defendants sought summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s claims against them.

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