This is the next post in our series on the handling of wrongful termination cases in Atlanta, Georgia. Our last article discussed wrongful termination cases based on discrimination. It is important to understand that an employer may not fire someone for a protected characteristic such as race or gender. One does not have to be explicitly fired for such reasons in order to bring a claim. In this article we will be discussing the topic of bringing a case when one was fired as a form of retaliation. If you believe that you were terminated without justification then contact our office today to speak with an employment law attorney.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against someone who files an EEOC claim against the company or who otherwise asserts their rights. This is true even if the EEOC claim was dismissed or found to be unwarranted. Firing someone, as a form of such retaliation, can give rise to a lawsuit. An example of this would be if someone felt they were passed over for a promotion on the basis of their ethnicity and filed a claim with the EEOC. Even if the claim is denied the employer may not retaliate against the employee for asserting their rights with the EEOC. Termination would, obviously, be the most extreme form of retaliation. An employee who is fired for such reasons may be able to recover lost wages, expenses related to finding a new job, compensation for lost retirement benefits, as well as money for mental anguish. Depending on the nature of the employer’s conduct it may even be possible to recover punitive damages.
As with discrimination cases, an employer will seldom admit that they are firing someone as a form of retaliation. They will give other reasons. An experienced employment lawyer can assist you in establishing that the reason for the firing was, in fact, due to your having asserted your rights. Counsel can use the discovery process to show the true reason for your firing. This process can be used to obtain memos, emails, and other internal documents which may show that the firing was for a reason other than what the employer stated. Also, discovery can be used to determine if the reason for your firing is something which the company, in fact, tolerates on a regular basis from other workers.
We cannot stress enough the fact that you need to contact counsel as soon as possible after you have been fired. You only have a limited amount of time in which to file a case. Failing to file within this time can result in your being barred from gaining compensation. Counsel will immediately contact the human resources representative at your old company and initiate a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Once the administrative process is completed then, assuming the matter is not resolved, your representative will be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. This can be a complicated process and one should retain lawyers experienced in such matters.
Our Atlanta wrongful termination attorneys assist with cases involving retaliatory firings. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also assist clients in the greater Metro area including Jonesboro, Macon, Savannah, Athens, Kennesaw, Marietta, Decatur, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Gainesville, as well as the counties of Bibb, Chatham, Clarke, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Richmond.