Federal Court in Georgia Dismisses Employee’s Wrongful Termination Case

Recently, a federal court in Georgia granted a motion to dismiss a case involving wrongful termination and violations of the Equal Protection Clause, among other claims.

In Fareed v. Cobb County School District, Inc., Gary Fahreed worked as a school patrol officer for the Cobb County Public Safety Department from October 2012 until May 2013.  When the students left for summer break, Fahreed assumed that he would resume his position after the next school year began.  Instead, Fahreed was informed that his position had been moved from the Public Safety Department to the Cobb County School District.  Fahreed was given instructions to complete an application and told by human resources for Cobb County School District to report on August 13, 2012 to complete the paperwork.  Then, on August 9, the human resources department told Fahreed to not report to work until Fahreed had contacted them.  On August 12, the human resources department instructed Fahreed to check with his supervisors before reporting to work.  Later that day, human resources told Fahreed that he was disqualified from the position due to possessing a criminal background.  Fahreed claimed that he had revealed his criminal conviction not only in the application, but also to his former employers.

Fahreed filed an action in court alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful termination, and violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The defendant, Cobb County School District, filed a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The court looked at each of the claims to see whether they could withstand a motion to dismiss.  For the Equal Protection Clause claim, the court concluded that there were no facts pled that Fahreed had been treated differently from other similarly situated individuals or that the defendant had unequally applied the law for the purpose of discriminating against him.  Fahreed’s complaint did not mention any coworkers who had received better treatment in similar situations.

Likewise, there were no facts pled to support the claim that Fahreed had suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress, which required that the defendant’s conduct be extreme and outrageous.  The court also rejected Fahreed’s wrongful termination claim, mainly because Fahreed had never claimed to be hired by the Cobb County School District in the first place.  Finally, the court found that Fahreed had never established a breach of contract claim, which needed to exist in order for a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  Fahreed had pled no facts showing that there was a contract between him and the Cobb County School District.  For these reasons, the court granted the motion to dismiss in favor of the defendant.

Parks, Chesin & Walbert represents plaintiffs in employment matters, including employment discrimination, wage and hour, FMLA, and more.  With offices in Atlanta and Nashville, we offer a client-centered philosophy and strive to accomplish our clients’ goals as if they are our own.  If you live in Georgia or Tennessee and need an experienced Atlanta employment law attorney, contact us today at 404-873-8048.

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