Atlanta Wrongful Termination Attorney
Under Georgia law, in the absence of an employment contract or statutory protection, an employment relationship is considered "at-will" and the employee can be fired at any time and for any lawful reason. However, many employment relationships in Georgia are governed by the employee handbook, commission schedule or similar posted personnel policy. While these agreements are not labeled "Employment Contract", they are very often treated as such by Georgia courts in employment-related lawsuits. These numerous documents very often support an action for breach of contract, even though there is not a single written contract. In addition to the enforcement of these agreements, many terminated employees can sue and collect damages under a "quantum meruit" theory of recovery. Under this legal theory, even though there is no explicit written contract, the law assumes an implicit contract and allows the fired employee to recover compensation for the “reasonable amount of services rendered.”
No one in Georgia may be fired, demoted, forced to quit (constructively discharged in legal terms) or treated unfairly due to illegal discrimination. Many times, a fired worker contacts an experienced employment lawyer and learns for the first time that they have legal rights and may seek relief allowed under the many Federal Laws designed to protect workers. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. An employer cannot discriminate against a person because of his interracial association with another.
Many wrongfully terminated Georgia workers may also have valuable claims against their employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In addition to establishing the federal minimum wage, the FLSA establishes minimum rate of pay, overtime, and record-keeping requirements that employers must comply with. Many times, employers attempt to classify a worker as “exempt” in order to avoid paying overtime pay, as required under the FLSA. Many times, a whole class of employees is “mis-classified” and, once this is proven, the employer must pay back wages for up to three years.Many Georgia employees are fired and presented with a Severance Package. The employer essentially says, sign this Release and we will pay you a severance. It is strongly urged that a fired employee in this situation contact an experienced lawyer to review the severance package, proposed release and analyze the fired person's rights and options. Many times, it is not in the fired employee's best interests to sign anything, as doing so usually precludes you from pursuing any legal rights against the company in the future.
Robert J. Fleming is an experienced Atlanta business trial lawyer. In addition to a law degree, Mr. Fleming has earned an MBA in finance, has acted as general counsel to a number of businesses, and has a successful business background. This unique set of experiences and skills allows Mr. Fleming to help workers in this situation by enforcing the agreements for payment.
If you have been terminated and would like to discuss your case, please call Robert J. Fleming at (404) 525-5150 or contact us online. We are here to help.