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 employer retaliation. It is important to understand that a company may not fire you for filing a grievance with your union or exercising some other type of right. In this post we will be discussing the process of bringing a claim against a company which has violated the law by firing you. Hiring an employment law lawyer will be of great assistance to those facing such a situation.
We previously discussed the process of filing a hostile work environment claim. One who has been wrongfully terminated faces a similar process. They must first go through the administrative process with the EEOC. If this administrative process does not resolve the dispute then the employee will be given a “right to sue” letter which allows them to file a lawsuit against the company. It is important to understand that going through the EEOC first is mandatory. Failing to do so can result in a lawsuit being dismissed as the worker would have failed to pursue what are known as “administrative remedies.” It is also important to understand that your claim with the EEOC must be filed quickly, typically within 180 days of the wrongful termination.
After you are given a right to sue letter then you may file a case with the Court. A lawsuit begins with the filing of a Complaint. This is formal document in which you state how you believe your rights were violated and the relief (meaning the amount of compensation) you are requesting. The employer will then file a document referred to as an Answer. Discovery, the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit, will then begin. Once both sides have accumulated their evidence then the matter will proceed to trial. The trial process will be somewhat similar to what is often portrayed in the media. The matter will be presided over by a Judge and a jury will decide whether your rights were violated and the amount of compensation you should receive.
It is important to understand that trial is a very complicated process. The Court’s rules of procedure and evidence will be strictly enforced. If these rules are not followed then you may be stopped from presenting necessary evidence to the jury and the jurors may be prohibited from considering important information. Again, we cannot stress enough that this is a process for which you should retain an experienced lawyer.
Our Atlanta employment law attorneys have extensive experience in wrongful termination cases and they are ready to assist you. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service 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.