A recent unpaid overtime ruling, while not occurring here in Georgia, is potentially significant to workers and employers here who find themselves embroiled in a dispute regarding the applicability of an exemption to the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The recent case involved the proper burden of proof for proving an overtime exemption. Things like that may sound minute to a layperson, but issues like burdens of proof can swing a success to a defeat or vice versa. Given all the legal details essential to presenting and winning an unpaid overtime case, as well as the high stakes involved, it is worth your while to seek out an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer to represent you.

The employees were sales representatives working for a food products distributor. The representatives sued the employer for unpaid overtime in violation of the FLSA. The employer countered by asserting that the representatives fell within the “outside sales” exemption, which meant that the employer had no legal obligation to pay overtime compensation.

The workers went to trial in a Maryland federal court and won. The court concluded that the law required the employer to prove the application of the exemption by “clear and convincing evidence,” and that the distributor did not clear that hurdle.

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As a worker, successfully pursuing a discrimination claim can involve many hurdles. In addition to having strong evidence, you have to file on time, you have to comply with all the rules of procedure and you have to overcome your employer’s defenses. Doing these effectively often requires in-depth knowledge and experience, which is why it frequently pays to have a skilled Atlanta disability discrimination lawyer on your side from the start.

A disability discrimination case from here in the metro Atlanta area shows this process in action, with an employee overcoming an immunity argument and ultimately recovering a six-figure judgment, according to the Clayton Crescent.

B.W. was an employee of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office and a woman with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The woman sought — and obtained — intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to deal with her PTSD symptoms, which included “severe headaches, debilitating anxiety, and panic attacks.”

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The Family and Medical Leave Act — enacted 30 years ago — represents an important benefit to workers. The law allows you to tend to essential personal and family matters without fear that your employer will fire you while you’re gone. Whether you’re a worker who has encountered this type of illegal conduct or an employer seeking to ensure full FMLA compliance, it is wise to get knowledgeable answers from an experienced Atlanta FMLA lawyer to all your questions.

With the FMLA, one of the more technical compliance issues regards how an employer should calculate the duration of a worker’s leave. Miscalculations can cost workers valuable time off from work and can cost an employer in terms of fines or other punishments for engaging in illegal conduct.

When calculating the duration of an FMLA leave, employers and employees can look to the law, to the applicable regulations, and also to FMLA-related “opinion letters” the U.S. Department of Labor issues, one of which came down just a few weeks ago.

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The Americans With Disabilities Act has been a part of federal law for 33 years. Despite that long-standing history, the complexity of this area of the law continues to yield compliance problems in workplaces across Georgia and the United States. Given the intricacy of disability law and the high stakes involved (both for a worker with disabilities or an employer,) it is wise to contact a knowledgeable Atlanta disability discrimination lawyer to get reliable answers to questions about your circumstance.

A recent appellate decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has dispensed some good news to both employees with disabilities and employers. The employee in the case, T.B., was deaf and communicated primarily using ASL (sign language.)

When T.B. worked as a materials handler for an auto parts store, he asked his employer for a disability accommodation. Specifically, he sought an ASL interpreter for a variety of employment-related functions, including meetings, training sessions, and a company picnic. As an additional accommodation, he requested test message summaries of his daily pre-shift meetings.

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It’s highly important to recognize all of the procedural demands involved in unpaid overtime cases. This is critical both from the perspective of ensuring that you’ve done everything the rules mandate and also from the perspective of taking proper steps to strengthen your position when the opposing side fails to meet its procedural obligations. Whether you’re a worker pursuing a claim or an employer defending against one, an Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer can help you in all of these regards.

One of the more basic procedural hurdles is the statute of limitations. When it comes to unpaid overtime claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, federal law says the worker generally must do so within two years.

That statute of limitations was at the center of one recent unpaid overtime case upon which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions directly control federal cases in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama) ruled.

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A groundbreaking new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court has triggered substantial concern among members of the LGBTQ+ community. The court’s 6-3 decision says, for the first time, that the First Amendment’s right to free speech allows some business owners to refuse to serve some customers if taking those jobs would conflict with the owner’s beliefs. Despite this unfavorable ruling, LGBTQ+ people still have legal protections, including those protections guaranteed locally here in Atlanta and some surrounding cities. If a public accommodation rejected you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you may still have legal recourse, so it’s worth your while to discuss your situation with an experienced Atlanta sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination lawyer.

The case at issue involved a Colorado website designer who wanted to create wedding websites but desired to provide that service only to heterosexual couples as a result of her religious beliefs related to marriage.

This would have constituted illegal discrimination under the State of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. That law says business owners may not “publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any… advertisement that indicates that… an individual’s patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of… sexual orientation, gender identity, [or] gender expression.”

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Issues related to the contents of school libraries and the reading materials in school curricula have been in the news a lot lately. School authorities have considerable discretion in the books they include and which ones they exclude, but that power is not unlimited. It’s possible for school authorities’ choices to cross constitutional limits and represent violations of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Free speech cases, like many types of civil cases, can be complex matters requiring detailed knowledge of the law, which is why retaining a knowledgeable Atlanta First Amendment lawyer in your matter is crucial.

One of the most controversial examples occurred to our north in rural Tennessee, where a county school board voted unanimously to remove the book “Maus” by Art Seligman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book followed the author’s parents through their time in the Auschwitz internment camp. The school board objected to the book’s depictions of suicide, the use of swear words, and an image of nudity as age-inappropriate for eighth-graders.

In Pensacola, Florida, a publisher and some parents used civil litigation to fight back against these sorts of bans. Penguin Random House, several parents, and a free speech nonprofit sued the Escambia County Schools for violating the First Amendment. The lawsuit alleged that school authorities disproportionately used their powers to target works that contained LGBTQ+ issues or dealt with race discrimination.

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Transgender people face discrimination in many settings, and that includes the workplace. One way is when their employers provide insurance coverage to employees in a discriminatory manner. If your employer’s insurance plan discriminates against your gender-affirming care, that potentially can represent a violation of federal law and you should talk to an Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer about your situation.

Currently, several state government workers are pursuing a discrimination case exactly like this.

M.R., one of the employees, is a staff accountant at the Department of Audits and Accounts and a trans man. The accountant’s doctor recommended certain surgical procedures. The Georgia State Health Benefit Plan denied coverage, so the accountant sued.

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Eight years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing marriage equality across the U.S. Even though marriage equality is the law of the land, gay and lesbian people still encounter many hurdles. If you’ve encountered illegal discrimination because of sexual orientation or your same-sex marriage, then you should contact an experienced Atlanta discrimination lawyer to help protect your rights.

A few months ago, the U.S. Congress last year took an important step in protecting gay and lesbian couples. The action occurred in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that, on its face, had nothing to do with marriage equality.

In June 2022, the court issued a ruling in the abortion case of Dobbs v. Whole Women’s Health. The court’s majority opinion addressed abortion rights, but Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion theorized that the notion of “substantive due process” is “demonstrably erroneous.” (Substantive due process is the legal concept underpinning many modern rights cases like Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception,) Lawrence v. Texas (same-sex intimate relations,)… and Obergefell.)

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Employers have several tools at their disposal to cut costs, including the expenses that go with paying their workers. The law gives employers considerable latitude in modifying workers’ pay if those workers have begun putting in longer hours but, as any knowledgeable Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer can tell you, when an employer cuts a worker’s regular rate of pay in an artificial way that’s designed to get around complying with the overtime rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act, that a violation of the law.

One potential way an employer can run afoul of the statute is to create two different “regular” rates of pay, with the goal of using the lesser of the two as the basis for calculating overtime pay, thereby artificially depressing the amount of overtime compensation the workers would receive.

That’s what one security guard alleged in his FLSA lawsuit against his employer. When the guard started his employment, the employer paid him $13 per hour and the guard worked 40-hour weeks.

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