Food delivery drivers frequently can be the victims of Fair Labor Standards Act violations. That can include improperly underpaying drivers who use their personal vehicles for deliveries (by paying them only the minimum wage and then not properly paying them for the vehicle expenses they incur,) or illegally underpaying them as a result of misclassification as exempt employees when they really were non-exempt. Whether you’re a driver who believes your employer denied you the pay that you were owed under the law, or you’re an employer seeking to ensure that your pay practices are compliant with relevant laws, if you have questions about the FLSA, you should seek out knowledgeable answers from an experienced Atlanta age and hour lawyer.

One of those underpaid workers was A.N., a North Georgia pizza delivery driver, who filed to arbitrate a claim that the employer had illegally underpaid him in violation of the FLSA in 2019. The next year, an arbitrator sided with the driver and concluded that he had suffered $5,198 in actual damages. Coupled with $5,198 in liquidated damages and $153,867 in attorneys’ fees and costs, the total award was $164,264. The federal court for the Northern District of Georgia affirmed the award.

The employer, however, refused to pay. That forced the driver to bring a collection suit in federal court in Missouri, which the employer contested. The driver ultimately succeeded in collecting the judgment but spent an additional $53,934 to do so. The driver, in pursuit of the collection of those expenses, returned to the Northern District court on a motion for fees and costs.

Continue reading ›

Proper written documentation can be the difference between success and failure for an employer facing a discrimination lawsuit. The more contemporaneously created items showing the issues the employee had, the more support the employer will have for an argument that it took adverse action against the employee for legitimate reasons and not because of impermissible discrimination. While sufficient documentation is vital, too much extraneous documentation potentially can give a worker extra bases for attacking an employer’s decision-making, so striking the proper balance in documenting employees’ HR files is a must. If you have questions about your documentation practices and compliance with discrimination law, be sure to check with a knowledgeable Atlanta race discrimination lawyer.

A race discrimination case involving a well-known figure in this city shows a clear example of this.

The plaintiff was a white man who worked as an on-air meteorologist for one of Atlanta’s TV stations from 2012 to 2019. During that time, the meteorologist allegedly engaged in numerous acts of sexual harassment, including informing a female colleague that he dreamt about sex with her and telling a different station employee about a group sex experience he supposedly had.

Continue reading ›

Race discrimination cases can span a broad spectrum, from those involving allegations of employers blatantly and remorselessly setting out to discriminate against certain races to employers whose discriminatory misconduct was wholly lacking in “racial animus.” In either scenario, the discrimination is illegal and can entitle the workers harmed by it to recover substantial compensation. To get the information you need about race discrimination and your workplace, be sure to contact an experienced Atlanta race discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.

One especially pernicious form of race discrimination is something called “race matching.” In these instances, which often arise in the sales industry, the employer considers only candidates of one specific race, believing that a person of that race will “match” with a desired target audience and therefore be more successful with those customers.

K.F. was an African-American sales professional caught up in that sort of illegal practice. In September 2019, a shipping company offered him an account executive position. A short time later, though, the company rescinded the offer, ostensibly after discovering that K.F. had on his criminal record a 2014 misdemeanor for disorderly conduct.

Continue reading ›

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, it is important to understand the rights and responsibilities set out in the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is also vital to know what you have to prove (as a worker) or disprove (as an employer) in a case of illegal retaliation or interference in violation of the FMLA. To better understand both your rights and your obligations — both at work and at trial — you should contact an experienced Atlanta FMLA retaliation lawyer to get the knowledgeable answers you need.

A recent federal case that originated in Florida is important for a couple of reasons. One, it establishes for the first time what the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions guide federal cases in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) considers to be the proper analytical standard for assessing FMLA retaliation cases. Two, it provides a good reminder to employers of the profound benefits that can be reaped by engaging in proper and thorough documentation of workers’ performance (and performance issues) throughout their time with that employer.

In the FMLA case from Florida, the employee was a woman who worked for a nationwide chain of pharmacies. The employee had a son with profound disabilities, requiring her to use FMLA leave periodically.

Continue reading ›

A few years ago, Harvard University conducted a poll about discrimination. The results revealed that 57% of African-American workers “reported discrimination in pay and consideration for promotions.” While the denial of promotions based on a candidate’s race remains a serious problem, it is also true that some denials of promotions to minority candidates are the result of legitimate, non-discriminatory standards and decision-making. Whether you’re a worker who has experienced a racially discriminatory denial of a promotion, or you’re an employer facing a misguided claim of discriminatory conduct, a knowledgeable Atlanta race discrimination lawyer can help you address your situation promptly and effectively.

A recent race discrimination case that originated here in Atlanta provides an example of the latter of the two possibilities above. The worker, P.D., was an African-American man who worked for the Transportation Security Administration’s Atlanta field office as a supervisory air marshal. In 2016, he applied for two higher-lever positions — one in Atlanta and one in Miami. The TSA awarded the positions to two white employees in February 2017.

One month later, anonymous coworkers at the Atlanta office alleged that P.D. had engaged in a years-long pattern of rampant sexual harassment of female coworkers. The marshal sexually harassed women at “every level” of the Atlanta office and also retaliated against women who rebuffed his advances, according to the letter. The TSA’s investigation into the allegations found that the marshal engaged in misconduct.

Continue reading ›

One of the emerging areas in Fair Labor Standards Act litigation centers on the misclassification of exotic dancers. Several groups of dancers have successfully sued clubs for illegally misclassifying them as independent contractors instead of employees. While this industry may be relatively small, these misclassification cases hold significance for more than just adult entertainment clubs and the dancers who perform in them. The question of “independent contractor or employee” is a crucial one in many lines of work and misclassification can have extremely deleterious consequences. If you have questions about independent-contractor-or-employee classification, contact a knowledgeable Atlanta worker classification lawyer to get the answers you need.

One local club in Northeast Atlanta is facing FLSA litigation… and it isn’t their first time. Last month, a group of four dancers sued the club seeking recovery for “unpaid wages and overtime compensation, interest, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs” under the FLSA.

A decade ago, that same club settled a previous FLSA lawsuit, agreeing to pay a class of 73 dancers more than $1.5 million. In that case, the club classified the dancers as independent contractors and the dancers’ compensation consisted solely of the tips they received. Additionally, the club charged its dancers various fees to perform at the establishment.

Continue reading ›

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides several rights and imposes several responsibilities on employees and employers alike. It is important to be keenly cognizant of these rights and responsibilities, as failure to do so can be extremely costly. If you have questions about your FMLA rights and/or responsibilities, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Atlanta FMLA lawyer to get the knowledgeable answers you need.

Late last month, we looked at an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals case of a South Florida writer and producer and some of the details regarding the law of “associational discrimination.” In the context of the Americans With Disabilities Act, associational discrimination occurs when your employer discriminates against you because you are “associated” with “someone who has significant medical needs” and for whom you “may need to provide care.”

The producer’s case is noteworthy for more than just the illumination it shone on associational discrimination, however. It also serves as an important reminder about the mechanics of the procedural requirements imposed by the FMLA.

Continue reading ›

Workers can encounter many forms of misconduct that amount to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. One of these issues relates to work performed off the clock. Whether you are an employee or an employer, if you have questions about unpaid hours and the FLSA, be sure to get in touch with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer to understand thoroughly your rights and responsibilities.

A major insurance company — whose CGI mascot is widely popular and seemingly ubiquitous on some television sports broadcasts — has found itself accused of multiple FLSA violations in the last few years, with the most recent action proceeding just to our south in the Middle District of Georgia federal court.

The employees were sales representatives who worked in the insurer’s call center in Macon. They alleged that the employer improperly forced them to perform essential job-related tasks before or after hours or during breaks, including booting up and shutting down their computers, responding to emails during meal periods, and staying late if their computer terminals malfunctioned during the day.

Continue reading ›

The Americans With Disabilities Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job candidates who have qualifying disabilities. The law also, however, protects workers from employment discrimination arising as a result of their association with someone who has a disability, even if the worker is not disabled in any way. If you think you’ve been the target of associational discrimination — or you’re an employer facing this kind of assertion — you should speak to a knowledgeable Atlanta disability discrimination lawyer, who can help you better understand your rights and options.

An associational discrimination case under the ADA proceeds much like other federal discrimination claims. The worker must first establish that she has a prima facie case of discrimination and, if she does so, the employer must present a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the negative action it took against the worker. If both of those things happen, the law shifts the burden back to the worker to demonstrate that the employer’s stated reason was really just a pretext for its discriminatory motive.

As a recent ADA case from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates, it’s important to understand that simply because an adverse employment action follows closely after the employer discovers a worker’s association with a person with disabilities, that alone won’t establish a winning associational discrimination case.

Continue reading ›

In a lot of civil cases, settling the matter is pretty straightforward. The parties will work out mutually agreeable terms, someone will prepare a written settlement agreement, and barring exceptional circumstances, the court will accept the settlement and dismiss the case. FLSA cases — and settlements — are a bit different and somewhat more complicated. There is a wider array of situations where, even if the parties have genuinely agreed, the court may reject a settlement. Working with a knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour lawyer can enhance your odds of avoiding this kind of money and time-consuming situation.

When parties to a FLSA case filed in a federal court in Georgia, Florida, or Alabama seek to settle, they must comply with what the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the 1982 case of Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. United States. The Lynn’s Food ruling says that any acceptable settlement must be a “fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute over FLSA issues.”

One example of a settlement executed correctly comes from the federal court in Orlando, Florida. The employee was a handyman who worked for a local social services organization for two years and two months. During that time, the handyman allegedly worked more than 40 hours a week on several occasions. Despite this, the employer never paid him overtime compensation, according to his complaint.

Continue reading ›

Contact Information