When an employee launches a legal action against his employer that asserts that the employer engaged in illegal discriminatory or retaliatory conduct in the termination of the employee, each side will have important evidentiary showings they’ll need to make. The employer needs to prove that it had a legitimate reason for taking action. The employee must show that the employer’s stated reason was a ruse to hide an illegal motive. Whether you’re an employer or an employee in a discrimination or retaliation case, it helps to have knowledgeable Georgia discrimination attorneys working on your side.
One case in which this legitimate-reason-versus-pretext-for-discrimination battle took place was a lawsuit filed by Duane, the general manager at an Acura auto dealership in Savannah. In the fall of 2012, eight years into his employment, the manager discovered his unborn child had a serious bone disease. The manager missed a week in October and indicated that he’d have to take additional leave in the future, but he did not identify specific dates.
Shortly after returning to work, the manager became involved in a disagreement with a charitable organization volunteer about the organization’s failure to consult him about a charity event held at the dealership. In the discussion, the manager cursed and said “demeaning and embarrassing things.” The employer ordered Duane to apologize to the volunteer, and he did. Four days later, though, the employer terminated Duane.