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How to File a Wrongful Termination Claim

Like many other states, Georgia is a right-to-work state. In right-to-work states, no implicit labor contract exists between employers and their employees. If there is no explicit, written contract specifying the conditions under which your employer can fire you from your job or requiring you to give two or four weeks’ notice before quitting, you may quit at any time, for any reason, with or without giving notice, and your employer may fire you at any time, for any reason, with or without giving you advance notice.

The only laws that inhibit an employer’s right to fire any worker at any time for any reason are anti-discrimination laws and anti-retaliation laws. If you feel your employer has fired you in violation of federal or state anti-discrimination or whistleblower protection laws, you may have a case for wrongful termination.

Begin by collecting and documenting any evidence you have. For example, positive performance reviews, positive evaluations by your colleagues, and other records of satisfactory or excellent job performance can help counter your employer’s claims that it fired you because you did not perform adequately.

Any record you can find of discriminatory behavior or comments by your employer or colleagues helps to strengthen your case. Even a journal you kept during the period in question can help, along with any memorandum, records of phone calls, testimony from your former co-workers, or evidence that your employer knew you were the whistleblower before terminating your employment. Additional evidence for employment discrimination may be found in a pattern of discriminatory behavior by your employer — e.g., if everyone fired over the past five years fits a particular, protected demographic profile.

Once you have gathered all the evidence available to you, the next step is to work with a labor and employment law attorney to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). Although the EEOC does not require you to have an attorney at this early stage, a seasoned employment attorney can help accelerate the process and protect your interests.

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