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Georgia Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Employment Law Counseling, Litigation, and Trial Advocacy

JF Beasley, LLC is a specialty firm. Since employment law demands a knowledge of legal developments that stretch across diverse subject areas, it is not suited for the general practitioner. An ability to immediately identify potential legal claims and to help clients avoid costly fees and wasted time demands specialization. Our firm offers this very knowledge and expertise. With more than 25 years of experience in a practice focused solely on employment law and civil rights, Georgia employment discrimination attorney John Beasley has a unique understanding of workplace concerns and the law that regulates this most important part of our lives.

Experience matters. With experience comes credibility. Credibility of counsel is important if your case or legal matter is to receive the respect that you want from the courts and from opposing counsel. John Beasley and his firm offer experience drawn from trials of cases under some of the most challenging employment, civil rights, and commercial laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, state and federal racketeering statutes, and federal securities laws. The firm is founded upon work in the trenches, including years of work at large Atlanta firms, as well as work in smaller communities like Athens and Watkinsville.

Employment Law

In Georgia, employment is at will. Employment at will means that an employer can terminate an employee’s employment for any reason or no reason, and likewise an employee can leave a job whenever the employee wishes. However, there are exceptions to this general rule defined by a multitude of mostly federal laws. An employer cannot violate these statutes in regulating the terms and conditions of employment or in disciplining employees up to and including termination. This includes actions taken in retaliation for exercising protected rights. In addition, if you are fortunate enough to have an employment contract, an employer must honor that contract’s terms.

Employment Discrimination

Federal and some state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics. Georgia is a state that has limited employment rights, requiring an attorney with an in-depth knowledge of both federal and state law. A qualified Georgia employment discrimination lawyer can help determine if you have been subject to illegal discrimination under these laws and may be able to help in the recovery of damages. Some Federal anti-discrimination laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. If you work for a local or state government employer, you have many more rights that can be explained by a qualified discrimination lawyer. At JF Beasley, LLC, we have over two decades of experience representing employees who have been victims of employment discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and it is prohibited under federal law. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome comments, touching, groping, jokes, memes, visuals, and sexual assault. There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens if an employee experiences a tangible, adverse employment action based on the failure to submit to sexual advances or demands. Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs if the harassment is so severe or pervasive that it alters the terms and conditions of employment to such an extent that it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Determining whether you have an actionable claim of sexual harassment and seeking compensation for victims of sexual harassment is a substantial part of our practice at JF Beasley LLC.

Disability

The ADA, a federal statute, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities who work for an employer that has at least 15 employees. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee regarding any term, condition, or privilege of employment if they are a qualified individual with a disability. Disabilities under the ADA are physical or mental impairments that substantially limit persons in one or more major life activities, including bodily functions. An employee is also protected under the ADA if they are perceived as having a disability even if they do not. Under the ADA, an employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability, unless it would present an undue hardship. At JF Beasley LLC we regularly help employees hold employers accountable for failing to provide reasonable accommodations or for discriminating based on a persons disability. We also advise many small employers on their rights and ensure that the federal laws are followed.

Wage and Hour / Overtime

All employers are required to abide by minimum wage and overtime laws for employees that are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA ensures that employees receive a minimum wage and that most hourly workers are paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a single work week. Tipped employees are also covered under wage and hour laws, but their employers are allowed a tip credit that lowers their minimum wage. The FLSA is a complicated statute with many exceptions and qualifications. Here at JF Beasley, LLC, we regularly handle FLSA claims and can assist in the recovery of any wages you may be owed if your employer is not following the law. The FLSA also provides employees protection from retaliation for raising concerns over unpaid wages or overtime. If you believe you have not been paid fairly or have been a victim of retaliation, JF Beasley, LLC can help.

Military Leave

Federal and Georgia laws protect the employment status of people working in the armed forces. The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members from discrimination regarding any benefit of employment if the discrimination arises out of their past, present, or future military service. Benefits of employment include, among other things, the right to military leave and to return to a position that is the same or substantially similar with the same benefits and pay. An employment discrimination attorney with expertise in USERRA like our attorney can explain how these rights may apply in particular circumstances.

Severance Negotiations

When an employee is terminated from a job, an employer may but is not required to offer severance. When an employer does so, it is either the result of a severance plan that has been put in place to cover such things as reductions in force or it is an individualized decision based on the employer’s desire to “buy their peace” and avoid the possibility of any employment disputes. In either case, the severance offer will almost invariably be offered in exchange for a waiver of certain important rights, such as the right to sue for discrimination. The severance amount varies dramatically depending on the employer and the purpose for which it is offered. Also, severance is paid in various ways with the most common being either a lump sum payment or periodically in the same manner as payroll. Under federal law, employees who are asked to release claims of age discrimination must be given 21 days (45 days if the termination is the result of a reduction in force) to consider signing any such release. This law is called the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and it also requires eligible employees to be given a 7-day revocation period in which they can change their mind about accepting the payment and releasing their claims. With any offer of severance, it is advisable that both the offer and the circumstances surrounding the offer be discussed with an attorney experienced in handling such matters and who is knowledgeable in employment law.

EEOC Representation

At JF Beasley, LLC we regularly represent clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is the federal agency tasked with administering and enforcing certain federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA. An employee cannot bring a lawsuit under these federal anti-discrimination laws without first filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC is authorized to investigate charges of discrimination against employers. It also provides mediation services for parties that are interested in trying to resolve their claims before litigation. If the EEOC finds a violation, it may try to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer or determine whether to pursue a lawsuit itself. If the EEOC chooses not to pursue the matter, the agency will issue a notice of right to sue that entitles the charging party to file a lawsuit against their employer and try to prove their case in court. Although not required, it is prudent to have experienced legal counsel representing you before the EEOC.

Retaliation

Many people are fearful that if they complain about discrimination or harassment, they will be terminated or face some other punishment from their employers. Federal and some state anti-discrimination laws prohibit retaliation for engaging in certain protected activities, such as complaining of discrimination. Retaliation is any adverse action taken by an employer in response to an employee who opposes discriminatory conduct. If retaliation occurs, employees should consider a separate retaliation claim in addition to any discrimination claims. Careful attention to the facts and the law is necessary in order to properly prepare a case of discrimination and retaliation. For instance, in deciding whether an employer’s action was retaliatory, courts examine whether the behavior was severe enough to discourage a reasonable employee from making or supporting a claim of discrimination and whether there was a causal relationship to the employee’s involvement in a protected activity. This is often a difficult legal analysis and one in which we at JF Beasley, LLC regularly engage when evaluating the claims of our clients.

Whistleblowing

Federal and state whistleblower laws have been put in place to protect employees who learn about unlawful or unethical conduct at their jobs and call it to the attention of the authorities, and some of these laws incentivize whistleblowing. Under Georgia’s Whistleblower Protection Act, a public employer cannot retaliate against a public employee for complaining about a violation of or non-compliance with any law, rule, or regulation . There are many other whistleblower laws that can protect employees and, in some cases, entitle them to a percentage of recovery. If you believe you have been a victim of retaliation for whistleblowing activity. It is critical that you contact an experience employment law attorney as soon as possible. At JF Beasley, LLC, we handle claims under many whistleblower protection statutes and can help evaluate your claims and protect your rights.

Wrongful Termination

In an employment at-will State like Georgia, it is often difficult to distinguish between a termination that is simply wrongful and a termination that is wrongful but also illegal and, therefore, actionable. When certain employment laws are violated, a wrongful termination may occur. For example, if an employer terminates an employee because of their sex, they may have a claim for wrongful termination under Title VII. Similarly, if an employee’s employment contract includes a provision that they not be terminated without just cause or within a certain time frame, and their employer violates that provision, the employee may be able to sue for any damage that has occurred. Georgia law also protects employees from third-party interference with their job when the interference is malicious, not subject to some privilege, and results in job loss and financial harm. A skilled employment discrimination lawyer can advise a Georgia employee on whether they may have been the victim of wrongful termination.

Contact a Dedicated Employment Lawyer Today

We have achieved results in all these areas and more. In court, we have helped clients obtain substantial monetary rewards when subject to violations of many employment laws. We have also vigorously defended clients who have been wrongfully accused. But a legal matter does not always demand recourse to the courts. Our firm offers experience in negotiations of employment matters, as well as in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitrations and mediations. If your case is an employment or civil rights dispute, our experience in these areas and in simply evaluating claims and remedies can help you get your case resolved without the necessity of a court case.

JF Beasley, LLC is a resource and place for reassurance and, if necessary, representation in the law. If you have an employment law question, dispute, or case that you are considering, let Attorney John Beasley and his office provide the assistance that you need. Our main office is located on Main Street in downtown Watkinsville, Georgia, just a short drive from Atlanta. While we practice statewide, our office is uniquely situated to be accessible to the Federal Courts in Atlanta, Gainesville, Athens, Macon, and Savannah. If you have a question or a case for an employment discrimination attorney in Georgia to review, call us toll-free at 855-774-Empl or send an e-mail to jfbeasley@jfbeasleylaw.com.

Picture of John Beasley
John Beasley

JF Beasley, LLC’s founder and owner, John Beasley, has more than 20 years of litigation and trial experience, most of that devoted to handling employment cases on behalf of employees and small employers. John represents clients in both the public and private sectors. He has tried cases under many civil rights and whistleblower laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Sarbanes Oxley and the U.S. Constitution.

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