Unlike many other states, Georgia does not have a comprehensive anti-discrimination law that shields private employees. Instead, those who work for private companies must rely on federal laws, which are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), plus a small handful of state laws that address specific types of discrimination.
The Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, age and other characteristics, but it applies only to public employers. It does not protect those who work at private businesses.
Georgia has three statutes covering workplace discrimination in the private sector:
If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination based on age or disability, or you think you are being paid less because of your sex, you can file a claim with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (GCEO). Additionally, some cities, such as Atlanta and Savanna, have their own agencies set up to handle discrimination claims. You should speak with a qualified Georgia employment lawyer about your options.
You are also protected from employment discrimination through federal laws. You must first file a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the date you believe discrimination occurred. Within 10 days of filing with the EEOC, the agency will notify your employer. Then, the EEOC will review the claim and could assign an investigator, initiate mediation between you and your company, attempt to settle the claim for you or sue the company on your behalf.
It often takes three to six months for the EEOC to act on a claim. If the EEOC decides not to take action in your behalf, then they will send you a Notice of Right to Sue letter. This letter gives you permission to sue the company in federal court if you wish. You must do so within 90 days of receiving the letter.
Workers in Gwinnett County, Atlanta and all surrounding areas turn to The Reddy Law Firm in Suwanee for help with employment issues. If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, please call 678-629-3246 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.