If your job fired you, you may feel that the employer treated you poorly and they terminated you without reason. However, just because you don’t agree with your employer’s decision doesn’t make it wrongful termination.
In Atlanta, as elsewhere in Georgia, employers have significant freedom to fire employees at will. Termination may only be wrongful if it violates the law – that is, if your employer fired you due to discrimination, retaliation, or because they didn’t want to pay your workers’ compensation benefits or family leave, among other reasons.
What Is the “At-Will” Employment Law?
According to the Georgia Secretary of State (SOS), Georgia allows employers to hire and keep employees “at will,” meaning employers may terminate an employee for any or no reason. However, an employer may not terminate an employee due to discrimination or in retaliation for an action such as whistleblowing. Breach of contract and firing you for taking family leave or workers’ compensation benefits are also unlawful.
The law also protects those who have employment contracts stating they cannot be fired unless there is just cause. In that case, the employer must prove that there was a legitimate reason for the termination.
Generally, an employer will rehabilitate an employee prior to termination. Some employers have their own rules in place that govern how they handle reprimands and terminations. Even so, it must follow the law.
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What If Your Employer Violated Your Employee Rights?
If you want to file a complaint or claim for wrongful termination, you must comply with the deadlines enforced by theU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The timelines are:
- 180 days if your employer discriminated against you or punished you for retaliation
- 300 days extension is given if the discrimination falls under any local or state anti-discrimination laws (EEOC)
The EEOC will investigate your claim after it receives your complaint. Should it find that your employer wrongfully terminated you, you can file a wrongful termination claim or lawsuit against it. Employers generally try to resolve these cases before they get as far as court.
Don’t Delay Filing Your Wrongful Termination Complaint with the EEOC
There may be exceptions to these deadlines, but they are unusual. Complying with your given time limit is crucial, as you may not be able to take legal action if you’re too late. That would then leave you on the hook to make up for the income you’ve missed.
You Could Also File a Case If Your Employer Failed to Pay You Overtime
You may be able to file a case if your employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA requires employers to follow overtime standards and keep records regarding overtime and regular pay for employees. In some instances, an employee should receive overtime pay but only received regular-time pay.
Employers may incorrectly classify an employee as exempt from overtime when non-exempt. Most hourly workers are often entitled to overtime pay. Keep in mind that each company handles these issues differently, though.
Damages You Can Request in Your Wrongful Termination Case
You could be entitled to several benefits if your job wrongfully terminated you. Such damages may include:
- Lost income: If you missed out on potential pay raises or promotions during your termination period
- Lost benefits: If you filed for workers’ compensation benefits but didn’t receive the medical expenses or wage replacement you were entitled to collect
- Emotional distress: If your termination took a toll on your emotional and mental wellbeing
- Medical expenses: If you needed to go to the doctor at any time during your termination period
You may also be entitled to backpay to make up for the payments you didn’t earn.
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Forms of Evidence You Can Use to Back Up Your Wrongful Termination Claim
Your account of your termination is valuable to your case. However, the EEOC and your employer’s legal team will need more information.
Some types of evidence you can include in your claim are:
- Your employee contract
- Reviews and evaluation of your work performance
- Video footage of your worksite
- The employee handbook
- Testimonies from your coworkers or former employees
- Text messages, emails, and other messages that reflect the situation
- Your termination form
- Any filed complaints against your employer
If you have any other forms of documentation that might help boost your case’s validity, include them in your claim. The smallest bit of evidence could make a big difference.
How a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help You
If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, or paid improperly, you may seek assistance from a wrongful termination attorney.
They can review all the details of your case and gather information to determine the best way to proceed. We are happy to represent you throughout the claims process and advocate for you. Many laws firms that handle wrongful termination cases offer free consultations, and there is no obligation to hire them.
Get in Touch with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Now
Don’t stress yourself out about all the details regarding your wrongful termination case. Leave that to the attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.
Dial (404) 888-8888 to find out more about our legal services in a free consultation.