Federal Court Narrows Employment Discrimination Claims in Georgia Man’s Suit Against Employer

In an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit, a plaintiff may have several potential claims. Some of these may be claims under federal law, and some may be state law claims. In some situations, the defendants may include both a corporate or government employer and one or more individuals.

It is not unusual for some or all of the defendants in an employment discrimination or retaliation case to seek dismissal of the claims pending them prior to trial. It is up to the trial court to determine which claims are viable if such a motion is filed.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a civilian employee of the United States Army. In his suit against the Secretary of the Army, his former supervisor, and the deputy garrison commander, the plaintiff alleged that he had been subjected to unlawful employment discrimination due to his gender, age, national origin, and disabilities and that he had been retaliated against due to his complaints of unlawful discrimination. He sought legal redress under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e – 2000e17; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 – 12117;  the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 – 634; and Georgia state law.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss all of the plaintiff’s claims against them, contending (among other things) that the plaintiff’s Title VII claims and ADEA claims should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

The Court’s Decision

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division, granted the defendant’s motion in part and denied it in part. The district court disagreed with the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff’s Title VII and ADEA claims were untimely (pointing out that the plaintiff had filed his action within 90 days of receiving a decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) but agreeing that the defendants were correct in their assertions that neither Title VII nor the ADEA countenanced liability against individual defendants.

With regard to the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s ADA and state law claims against the Army for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the district court agreed that the plaintiff had neither alleged nor otherwise established that the United States had waived its sovereign immunity as to the plaintiff’s state law employment discrimination claims. Pursuant to the court’s opinion, only the plaintiff’s Title VII and ADEA claims against the Army and his state law claims against the remaining defendants in their individual capacities remained viable.

Consult a Georgia Employment Law Attorney

Regardless of where you work, you should not be subjected to discrimination or retaliation. If you believe that your employer has acted in violation of your state or federal law, you need to talk to an attorney about asserting your legal rights. Knowledgeable Atlanta employment discrimination attorney John L. Mays at Parks, Chesin & Walbert regularly helps those who have been the victim of unlawful discrimination, and he will be glad to discuss your claim with you. For an appointment to learn more about our services, call us at 877-986-5529. Please be mindful that there are strict time limits for the filing of employment discrimination and retaliation claims, so it important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.