Georgia is a right-to-work state, which gives employers broad authority over their workforces. Most workers are employed at will, which means employers may terminate them for almost any reason — or for no reason at all. However, an employer may not terminate an at-will employee for an illegal reason.
Employees have the right to sue their employer for wrongful termination if they have been fired illegally. Often, wrongful termination claims are based on discrimination or retaliation, such as a company penalizing a whistleblower. Georgia follows federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), when enforcing discrimination or retaliation claims.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, you’ll have to prove that your termination was based on your belonging to a protected class under federal law, such as race, color, religion or age. Additionally, termination of employment may be illegal if it is in response to your exercising a civil right, such as voting on election days or speaking out on political issues in a way that does not interfere with work activities.
In addition, if your employment is subject to an employment agreement, then you cannot be fired unless you are in breach of the agreement.
Prior to filing a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination, you need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Be sure to discuss this filing with a qualified attorney, as specific time limits apply. If, after conducting an investigation, the EEOC finds merit in your claim, the commission will usually issue a Right to Sue Letter.
If you’re able to prove wrongful termination in your lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover damages for:
If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, a skilled labor and employment lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid claim for wrongful termination.
The Reddy Law Firm, P.C. in Suwanee has years of experience in helping clients across Georgia in wrongful termination lawsuits. To schedule a free attorney consultation, contact us online or at 678-905-5475 today.