Atlanta Labor & Employment Attorneys Well-Versed in the Law of the Workplace
Proven advocates represent Georgia workers and businesses in a wide range of legal and employment matters.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
Federal law provides employees nationwide with many valuable guarantees. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) imposes wage and hour regulations governing:
- Minimum wage.
- Overtime premium (often time and a half) for more than 40 hours worked in a work week.
- Rules defining when a person is entitled to compensation.
- Restrictions on child labor.
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits certain employees to take unpaid leave from work for any of several reasons, including:
- Childbirth and the first year of infant care.
- Adoption, placement of foster children, and their care for the first year.
- A serious health condition that keeps the employee from performing his job.
- Caring for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious medical condition.
- Certain circumstances involving service members in the family.
- Prohibitions on interference with or retaliation for taking FMLA leave
We counsel and defend employers who comply with this law, and we represent employees pursuing damage claims where their employers violate the law or retaliate against them for seeking benefits to which they are entitled.
Skilled Litigators Appear on Both Sides of Lawsuits Alleging Discrimination
Federal and certain state laws prohibit treating employees differently based on personal characteristics like race, gender, and other protected categories. We have appeared for plaintiffs or defendants in lawsuits alleging the following:
Federal law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, citizenship status, or genetic information. While Georgia’s antidiscrimination laws cover only employees at certain public agencies, Atlanta and other municipalities have adopted their own laws adding other protected classifications.
This type of illegal discrimination can occur when a supervisor demands sexual favors to gain a benefit or avoid the negative consequences of refusal. Sexual harassment can also take the form of a hostile work environment, in which employees are subjected to pervasive sexually explicit photographs, jokes, or threats.
Federal and state laws also shield certain employees from retaliation for seeking to enforce their rights under discrimination laws or engaging in other legally protected activities. These laws include the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Georgia Whistleblower Protection Act for State or local government employers.
Effective Lawyers Assist in Drafting and Enforcing Employment Contracts
A large part of our practice is devoted to negotiating and drafting agreements for creating and fairly terminating employment relationships. These include initial contracts, renewals, and severance agreements with provisions dealing with:
- Salary, bonuses, and benefits.
- Obligations not to disclose trade secrets and confidential or proprietary information.
- Restrictive covenants not to compete or to solicit key employees.
- Separation from employment, including permissible reasons and required compensation.
We counsel employers on compliance with these requirements and represent employees pursuing damages based on claims that guaranteed benefits have been withheld or denied.
Experienced lawyers assist in proper classification of workers
A common error in working relationships is the misclassification of employees and independent contractors. Proper classification is legally crucial because it affects the proper payment of wages and overtime, taxation, health insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and unemployment eligibility. Labels are not conclusive when determining whether, as a matter of economic reality, a person is an employee of a business. We can assist with both making proper classifications and remedying previous violations.
Experienced lawyers assist in legal compliance through proper policies and handbooks
Our years of experience in representing employees and businesses give us a unique perspective when drafting legal and fair employment policies. We can help with a specific question or assist in preparing employment handbooks.
Contact a Georgia firm experienced in the law of the workplace
DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC is located in Atlanta and represents clients throughout Georgia in a wide range of labor and employment matters. Call us at (470) 443-0524 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. Our Atlanta office is ADA accessible, and we offer in-person or remote consultations.