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. When it comes to proper advice and 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’s expertise 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, Georgia.Advice & Counsel
Although employment litigation and the retention of an employment attorney to take your case into the court system can, at times, become necessary and even unavoidable, it should be the last option. Litigation is costly, emotionally draining, time consuming, and subject to extreme risk for all parties. Avoiding litigation through proper advice and counsel and/or mediation services is a better alternative and can work to the benefit of all parties. JF Beasley LLC offers these services with a solution-based mission designed to avoid the worst of litigation, obtain compliance with the law, and maintain respect for both an individual employee’s civil rights as well as the legitimate business needs and concerns of employers. While the firm does and will litigate, bringing to the court decades of litigation and trial experience, that last resort is the exception not the rule. The firm is very selective, understanding that in most cases more good comes from amicable rather than court ordered resolution.Mediation Services
The firm’s managing attorney, John Beasley, offers private mediation and arbitration services through the Alternative Dispute Resolution firm of JordanADR. JordanADR is a firm that is committed to resolving civil legal disputes throughout the state of Georgia by facilitating mediation services through a team of individual mediators with particularized legal expertise.
If you are involved in an employment case that could benefit from mediation and desire the knowledge and experience Mr. Beasley can bring to the table as a certified mediator, his calendar, terms, and the procedures for handling mediation can be accessed here: Employment Law
In Georgia, employment is almost always at the will of the parties. 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 called statutes. An employer cannot violate these statutes under the guise of 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 there has been any violation of these complicated laws and advise you on the likelihood, if any, of damages being assessed for such violations. 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 nearly three decades of experience to which to base our advice and counsel.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 offering advice on how to address such claims is a fundamental aspect 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 advise employees on seeking reasonable accommodations based on their disabilities. We also advise many small employers on their rights to ensure that federal laws are being 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, subject to very specific requirements, their employers are allowed a tip credit that lowers the mandatory minimum wage. The FLSA is a complicated statute with many exceptions and qualifications. Here at JF Beasley, LLC, we have years of experience with FLSA claims. 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 offer needed advice, counsel, and, if necessary, representation in recovering wages lost or responding to retaliation.
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 have decades of experience representing 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 claims and advising 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 can offer advice and counsel on 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 that can provide a path forward for individuals and small businesses facing a violation or claimed violation of the law. 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 ideally without the necessity of a court case.
JF Beasley, LLC is a resource and place for reassurance and, in some instances, representation in court. 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. If you seek legal advice or have an employment case that you would like reviewed, please use our contact information form to obtain a case review.