Articles Posted in Retaliation

Many times in life, things are not necessarily what they seem on the surface. That can be true in the law, too. Your discrimination, harassment, or workplace retaliation case might, to some, not seem like much on the surface but, in the eyes and hands of a skillful Atlanta employment retaliation lawyer, it might become something more — a much clearer violation of employment law and a powerful claim for relief.

One scenario occurs when an employer’s adverse action, in a vacuum, seems permissible but, when viewed in the larger prism, demonstrates an inconsistent application of its policies motivated by illegal retaliation or discrimination.  A real-life case from outside Georgia offers a clear illustration of this.

The employee, A.W., was a man displeased with the new overtime policy his employer had unilaterally instituted, which called for the posting of a sign-up board upon which workers signed up for overtime shifts. Workers who signed up for a shift and then did not work the shift faced potential discipline, which was a change from the old rules.

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Speaking out against sexual harassment is fraught with many concerns and potentially negative consequences for a lot of workers. Many justifiably fear that speaking up will negatively impact their careers, up to and possibly including the loss of their jobs. When that happens, that’s something called retaliation and it’s just as illegal under Title VII as sexual harassment is. If you’ve suffered because you spoke out, you have a right to take action. An experienced Atlanta workplace retaliation lawyer can help you to get the most out of your case.

Here’s an example of what we mean. L.A. was a woman who worked for a county sheriff’s office in suburban Atlanta for nearly two decades, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant. In 2018, the sheriff decided to reassign the lieutenant to the county jail. In a meeting about the reassignment, the lieutenant told her supervisor — for the first time — about a problematic incident that occurred during her previous stint working at the jail.

Allegedly, a male coworker (who outranked her) called her into an empty office, whereupon he “began kissing her with his mouth open.” According to L.A., the incident happened without warning and, at the time, she told only her husband.

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There are a wide array of pieces of information that can help your employment discrimination case. Many may involve factual issues and tend to prove the discrimination you’ve alleged. Other are matters of law, like the degree of causal connection you need to succeed in your type of discrimination case. A knowledgeable Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer is someone who can combine your factual evidence with an in-depth knowledge of the law to give you the total representation you need.

M.L.’s race discrimination case was one where issues of causation were key. She was also a Black woman over the age of 40 and a mammographer at an Air Force base in Florida, In 2016-18, she allegedly experienced discrimination at her job with the Air Force.

By the summer of 2016, the mammographer’s supervisor was a non-Black woman under the age of 40. That supervisor allegedly engaged in a variety of forms of discrimination that included: berating her, failing to give her feedback as part of a negative performance evaluation, and criticizing her for failing to complete non-mandatory tasks.

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An important new ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions directly control federal lawsuits in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida) clarifies how expansive federal law’s prohibition against retaliation really is. The decision illustrates that the provision is quite broad, meaning that it can be a vital tool for workers who’ve been harmed at work for standing up against discrimination or harassment. If it’s happened to you, don’t delay in contacting an experienced Atlanta employment retaliation lawyer who can advise you about how best to pursue your case.

The employee and plaintiff in the case, J.P., was a senior HR manager at an Alabama paper mill. Before starting at the paper mill, she was an HR worker for a hospital network.

In June 2017, the HR manager allegedly informed the mill’s plant manager that “she believed two black employees… may have a valid race discrimination complaint.” The complaint alleged that, in response, the plant manager told J.P. “you are not going to tell me how to run this mill!”

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Employees should be free to assert their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including asking questions about their employers’ pay practices. Unfortunately, too often, asserting those rights comes with a job-related price, up to and including losing one’s job. When that happens, that may represent illegal retaliation, which is itself a violation of the FLSA. Whether yours is a minimum wage case, an unpaid overtime case, a retaliation case, or a combination of the above, an experienced Atlanta employment retaliation lawyer can help you select the best ways to take action.

It’s unclear if a Stone Mountain insurance agency’s insureds always get the “good neighbor” treatment but, according to the U.S. Labor Department, one employee did not, and it’s going to cost the employer.

A federal court recently ordered the insurance agency to pay $50,000 for engaging in retaliation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, a worker at the agency “requested information about compensation.” The worker didn’t get answers to their questions; instead, the worker received a letter of termination, according to a press release from the Labor Department.

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With any field of professional knowledge, from engineering to law to medicine to finance to plumbing, certain misconceptions can take root. That’s why, when you have a problem that involves a field of specialized knowledge, it pays to retain a seasoned pro. The right professional can provide you with the correct answers to your issues. That’s especially true when it comes to the benefits an experienced Atlanta workplace retaliation lawyer can provide in your retaliation case.

Many laypeople might look at a case where a worker alleges they were harmed by discrimination and/or harassment, along with retaliation, and assume that if the underlying discrimination/harassment case fails, the retaliation claim would necessarily go down with it. And they’d be wrong, as a recent retaliation case from Columbus, Georgia shows.

The plaintiff, H.H., was a woman working at a Columbus “wholesale club” store. After the store hired A.O., a Hispanic man, he allegedly began sexually harassing the woman, making numerous inappropriate comments about the woman’s sex life.

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A situation where an employer terminated or demoted an employee shortly after that employee made a complaint about illegal discrimination or harassment is one possible example of impermissible retaliation. However, what can constitute actionable retaliation goes way beyond that. If your employer took punitive action against you because you spoke up against illegal employment practices, then you should get in touch with a knowledgeable Atlanta employment retaliation case.

As an example of how broadly the law against retaliation stretches, there is this case from neighboring Alabama, in which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions control federal cases in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida) entered a decision in January.

The worker, J.S., was an administrative assistant working for a local police department in suburban Birmingham. In the summer of 2015, the police chief denied the assistant’s request to take a day off using her compensatory time. As a result, the assistant made a formal written complaint to human resources accusing the chief of sex discrimination. The complaint alleged that the chief treated J.S. differently than the department’s male employees when it came to approving the use of earned compensatory time.

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When it comes to things like minimum wage, overtime, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, there are multiple different ways that your employer can violate the law. First, there’s the violation itself, in which your employer denies you what the statute demands. Additionally, though, many cases involve retaliation, where an employer punishes an employee for asserting (or, in some instances, merely inquiring about) their statutory rights. An experienced Atlanta employment lawyer can help you determine if retaliation occurred in your case and how to pursue relief for that retaliation.

Last month, the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a new guidance document focusing on the issue of retaliation. Specifically, the bulletin placed a spotlight on instances of retaliation against workers who assert their rights under the FMLA, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and other labor laws.

As the bulletin noted, legal protections against retaliation are necessary to safeguard workers’ rights. A worker forced to choose between being illegally underpaid or having no job at all reasonably might choose the former over the latter. As a result, “it continues to be of paramount importance that WHD fully enforce the anti-retaliation provisions of the laws.”

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The law gives many workers certain rights. The right to a minimum wage, the right to overtime pay, and the right to a workplace free from sexual harassment and certain forms of discrimination are a few of those. When you, as a worker, stand up for those rights — whether yours or a coworker’s — you shouldn’t be punished for it, but too many are. If you’re concerned about retaliation at your job, you owe it to yourself to get in touch with a knowledgeable Atlanta workplace retaliation lawyer to discuss your situation.

Often, people associate workplace retaliation with a discrete form of punishment. For example, a worker who got fired just a few weeks after filing a formal sex discrimination complaint, or a worker who was demoted just a couple of months after settling an unpaid overtime lawsuit. Those kinds of adverse employment actions, while potentially valid bases for a retaliation claim, are not the only type, however.

It’s also possible that you can be harmed by what’s called a “retaliatory hostile work environment.” A retaliatory hostile work environment happens your protected activity triggers misconduct directed at you that rises to a level of hostility that would motivate a reasonable person not to speak out about a violation. Well-represented recent plaintiffs are continuing to reap the benefits of this newer pathway to success in a retaliation claim.

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We all know that workers have certain rights established by Georgia law and federal law. For many workers, it’s not as simple as that. They fear that, if they invoke those rights, they will incur harm that will have a long-lasting negative effect on them and their career going forward. Do not let this fear scare you away from contacting an experienced Atlanta minimum wage and overtime lawyer and pursuing your legal options. Not only does the Fair Labor Standards Act give you certain rights regarding your pay, but it also gives you the potential opportunity to recover compensation if your employer retaliated against you for seeking the fair pay you deserve.

Many news outlets, including major ones like AP, UPI, NPR, and Fox News have sections dedicated to news that is “weird,” “odd,” or “strange.” A lot of these make for fun reading and perhaps a few laughs. Some, however, can be more educational than funny.

Take, for example, a recent peculiar story about an employment dispute that occurred right here in North Georgia. The employee, A.F., worked at an auto shop in Peachtree City. When A.F.’s employment at the shop ended, the employer did not pay him his last paycheck. Still owed $915, the worker took his complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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