Few things are as personal as your employment, and few things are as scary when that is threatened in some way. Employers do have a lot of leeway in making those decisions, as Georgia is a 'right to work' state, and for the most part you can be hired and fired for any reason at all. However, this is not a blanket statement. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against employees, former employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their race, color, sex,national origin, and religion. In addition, Congress has expanded the scope of the anti-discrimination laws in order to prohibit other forms of discrimination, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibiting disability discrimination, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protecting individuals over 40 years old. And discrimination is not simply hiring and firing: it also includes refusal to hire, reducing pay, unfairly poor performance reviews, and reduction in hours based upon the above reasons.
In addition, I handle sexual and other types of harassment claims. This harassment can be by a supervisor, or it can be by a co-worker. Either way, if you feel you have been treated inappropriately, we can discuss your rights and options. First and foremost though, make sure you report it to a supervisor (or your supervisor's supervisor). If the alleged harassment was by a co-worker, make sure you follow your company's reporting policy to the letter, as this will make your claim infinitely easier down the road. Many of these claims go unreported as the victim is worried about an adverse effect at work. However, if you get fired, docked pay, or unfairly reprimanded because you reported a harassment claim, you may also have a claim for retaliation. I can guide you through this process.
One of the most important pieces of information to know is that unlike a regular lawsuit where you have two years or more to file your suit, with an employment suit, it has to be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the occurrence. Failure to do so will bar your suit forever. While this process can be done on your own, the EEOC does decide whether you can proceed with a lawsuit, and it frames your lawsuit for the employer to allow them to prepare their defenses, and therefore it is wise to at least discuss your claim with an attorney.
Finally, I also handle employment issues that do not involve filing a lawsuit. In many situations, I get calls from those about to be hired, or alternatively that were recently laid off, requesting that I review documents the employer is requesting they sign. This includes employment contracts, severance packages, and non-compete agreements. I can advise you on the pros and cons of signing, and whether it is in your best interest to do so given your goals, aspirations and life situation.