Federal Court Hearing Georgia Woman’s Retaliation Case Rules Partially in Her Favor, Partially in Employer’s Favor, on Motion to Dismiss

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.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case under consideration by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Dublin Division, the plaintiff was a woman who sought legal redress against an agency of the federal government for alleged employment discrimination. In 2018, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, and the court determined that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust her administrative remedies with respect to her claims charging the defendant with age discrimination and certain whistleblower laws.

The court likewise found in the defendant’s favor with respect to the plaintiff’s remaining allegations, holding that she had failed to state a claim for race discrimination, disability discrimination, and/or reprisal. The plaintiff was, however, given an opportunity to amend her complaint as to these issues.

After the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, the defendant renewed its motion to dismiss.

The Court’s Decision

The federal district court granted the defendant’s motion in part and denied it in part, holding that the plaintiff should be allowed to proceed with her claims related to the defendant’s failure to select her for two specific employment opportunities as alleged retaliation for her participation in prior protected activities. All other claims were to be dismissed.

According to the court, the plaintiff had alleged that she had engaged in statutorily protected activity insomuch as she had filed complaints previously and that she had suffered an adverse employment action as a result. The court also held that the plaintiff had stated a plausible causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action, sufficient for the court to determine that the plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts from which it could be inferred that the plaintiff had been the victim of unlawful retaliation in the workplace.

In so holding, the court noted that a relatively short amount of time passed between the employee’s alleged complaint at work and the adverse employment action against her.

Consult an Atlanta Retaliatory Discharge Attorney

There are many laws that protect employees in the workplace, but the burden is on the employee to take action seeking legal redress when these laws are violated. Due to certain time constraints put in place under state and federal law, it is very important that an employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of wrongful conduct at work take prompt legal action. Atlanta employment discrimination attorney John L. Mays of the Parks, Chesin & Walbert law firm can help, if you have been the victim of discrimination or retaliation. For an appointment to learn more, call us at 404-873-8048 today.


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