Labor Lawyers Atlanta
Labor law is a fraternal twin to employment law. A labor and employment lawyer specializes in cases involving the employment relationship between people and their employers. Many of these cases concern the enforcement of federal and state statutes regarding discrimination, harassment family and medical leave, minimum wage and overtime eligibility, wrongful termination, employee benefit plans and covenants not to compete or solicit. Other cases concern the negotiation and construction of executive and professional employment agreements and severance agreements. If you have a legal issue in this area, it’s best to work with an experienced labor and employment attorney rather than handle the issue yourself. Read on to learn more about labor and employment law in Georgia.
The Types of Cases a Labor and Employment Lawyer Handles
Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination and harassment can happen at any stage of the employment relationship. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee on the bases of race, gender religion, national origin, age or disability. It is also illegal to harass an employee because of their sex, race, age or disability. Over the years these statutes and the court cases interpreting them have become complex . If this has happened to you, a labor and employment lawyer can help you receive the best outcome for your case.
Family and Medical Leave
Some employers attempt to deny employees what the FMLA provides by constructing difficult and illegal rules around how FMLA leave is granted at the company. Others come up with false reasons to deny the employee reinstatement to her previous position at the conclusion of the leave. If this happens to you, you should seek the help of a lawyer who specializes in this area.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Availability
Employers frequently violate wage and hour laws. They do this in a variety of ways, such as mandating off-the-clock work, misclassifying employees as independent contractors or overtime-exempt employees, not paying for all the time from start to finish of the work day, paying straight time for all hours, including overtime hours, offering comp time in lieu of overtime, using a period greater than seven days for overtime purposes, taking a share of an employee’s tips, among others. This is the most litigated area of labor and employment law.
Georgia is an at-will employment state. This means that an employer needs not justify its firing of an employee in most situations. There are exceptions, however, and an experienced labor and employment lawyer can help you determine whether your termination was legal or not.
It is illegal, for example, to fire someone for a discriminatory reason. Additionally, it is illegal to fire an employee because that employee engaged in legally protected conduct such as requesting overtime pay or stating opposition to discrimination. It is illegal in some cases to fire whistleblowers.
If you have been terminated and wish to determine whether the termination was illegal, and if so what to do about it, your best resource is a labor and employment lawyer.
Employee Benefit Plans
The law requires that most employee benefits be governed by a formal document none as a Plan. Employer or Plan Administrators sometimes deny benefits in violation of the Plan.
Plans are governed by a complex federal statute. There are appeal time limits in the plan that are strictly applied. In most cases, you cannot present something to a court if you did not present it in the appeal process. An experienced labor and employment lawyer can help you get copies of the relevant Plan and help you protect your rights under the Plan.
Covenants Not to Compete or Solicit
Employers often seek to extend their control beyond the end of the employment relationship through a covenant not to compete or solicit. Many employers have agreements that are illegal under Georgia law. If you are trying to determine whether you can go to work for a competitor of your former employer, you would do well to consult with an experienced labor and employment lawyer
Executive and Professional Employment Agreements and Severance Agreements
Many executive, sales, and professional employees have formal written agreements with their employers. At the beginning of the employment, an ounce of prevention will be worth a pound of cure. At the end of the employment, there is almost always an opportunity to negotiate improvements to an employer created severance agreement. Here, too, an experienced labor and employment lawyer can provide valuable assistance.
Finding the Right Labor Lawyer in Atlanta
If you have a legal issue related to employment law in Atlanta, you need to find a local law firm that has a great deal of experience in this area. Look no further than DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin. We have a great deal of experience handling employment law cases in Atlanta. We are familiar with both the relevant Georgia laws and the relevant federal laws. Whether your issue is related to discriminatory harassment, FMLA or overtime we can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today so we can help you with your labor and employment law case.