Atlanta Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Skilled Wrongful Termination Attorneys In Atlanta, Georgia
Losing a job is a harrowing experience for anyone. In nearly every state, most employees are “at-will” employees under the law, which means that an employer can terminate employment for any reason — whether a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all — so long as the reason does not violate a law. But there are several laws – mostly federal laws – that provide for damages when an employer wrongfully terminates an employee. Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers, like those at Weiner & Sand LLC, pursue employers for damages when they violate these federal employment laws.
Wrongful Termination Lawyers Can Obtain Damages For Violations Of Federal Employment Laws
Despite the “at-will” doctrine, there are many laws that protect employees from wrongful terminations, particularly where discrimination or retaliation is involved. For example, federal law prohibits employers from terminating employees because of their race, age, gender, pregnancy, military service, or religion. Likewise, employers also cannot terminate an employee in retaliation for complaining about discrimination or harassment. These are just a few of the many reasons that may violate various employment laws.
To pursue these violations, wrongful termination lawyers typically use two types of theories of wrongful termination/employment discrimination: disparate impact claims and disparate treatment claims.
DISPARATE TREATMENT CLAIMS
Disparate treatment claims focus on whether an employer treated an employee less favorably because of a protected characteristic (e.g., race, age, gender, religion, pregnancy status, and national origin). For example, “My employer fired me because I am pregnant.” Liability in a disparate-treatment case depends on whether the protected trait actually motivated the employer’s decision. Proving discriminatory intent can be accomplished either through circumstantial evidence or through direct evidence. In either scenario, the ultimate question is whether the employee was the victim of intentional discrimination.
DISPARATE IMPACT CLAIMS
Disparate impact claims focus on an employer’s facially neutral policy that has a significant disparate impact on a protected group. For example, employers that use certain aptitude tests, physical requirements (for example, lifting or stamina), or degree requirements, may be subject to a disparate impact claim if the requirements disproportionately impact the members of a protected class. Disparate impact claims are typically filled on a class-wide basis representing all employees who are disparately impacted by the facially neutral employment policy.
Wrongful Termination Lawyers Can Enforce Violations Of USERRA
In addition to pursuing wrongful termination claims based on protected characteristics like sex, age, race, and others, the Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers at Weiner & Sand LLC also pursue employers for violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”). Under USERRA, an employer may not deny you initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment because of your status if you are a past or present member of the uniformed service. USERRA applies to all employers, regardless of the employer’s size, and it applies to part-time and full-time employees. It does not apply to independent contractors.
Generally, if you have been absent from your position of civilian employment by reason of service in the uniformed services, you will be eligible for reemployment under USERRA by meeting the following criteria:
(1) The employer had advance notice of your service;
(2) You have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services in your employment relationship with a particular employer;
(3) You timely return to work or apply for reemployment; and
(4) You have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions.
Additionally, an employer may not retaliate against you for seeking to enforce your rights under USERRA.
You also have benefits rights under USERRA:
- If you have coverage under a health plan in connection with your employment, the plan must permit you to elect to continue the coverage for a certain period of time:
- You are entitled to the seniority and seniority-based rights and benefits that you had on the date your uniformed service began, plus any seniority and seniority-based rights and benefits that you would have attained if you had remained continuously employed.
- If you are reemployed in an escalator position, the employer must compensate you at the rate of pay associated with the escalator position. The rate of pay must be determined by taking into account any pay increases, differentials, step increases, merit increases, or periodic increases that you would have attained with reasonable certainty had you remained continuously employed during the period of service.
- On reemployment, you are treated as not having a break in service with the employer maintaining a pension plan, for purposes of participation, vesting and accrual of benefits, by reason of the period of absence from employment due to or necessitated by service in the uniformed services.
Contact Us Today
The Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers at Weiner & Sand LLC help aggrieved individuals when an employer violates one’s rights, whether the violation involves the USERRA or another federal law. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, or even if you are not sure if the termination was wrongful under any law, please contact the employment attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC to discuss the termination. Our Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers are available 24/7 to answer your questions. You can contact us by calling or by using our convenient online contact form below. We never charge a fee until we win the case.