Atlanta Employment Lawyers
Moeller Barbaree LLP specializes in employment litigation, legal counseling, and guidance for both businesses and individuals in virtually all types of employment-related matters in Atlanta and around the country. We have litigated hundreds of cases brought under federal employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Our attorneys have decades of experience litigating employment issues, and we have also represented clients in class actions and collective actions, before government agencies, and in arbitration. Employment relations and workplace issues can be complex and sensitive. Moeller Barbaree’s partners represented Fortune 50 corporations, Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses, and individual people before starting the firm. This experience helps us understand the unique needs of all of our clients. Moeller Barbaree’s attorneys work to protect the rights of our clients in all types of employment matters, from wrongful termination, to pay issues, to harassment and discrimination.
The Atlanta employment lawyers at Moeller Barbaree can assist with employment disputes regarding:
Georgia state law and federal laws regulate many aspects of the employer-employee relationship. These laws cover matters such as discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race, color, gender, pregnancy discrimination, religion and national origin discrimination, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act). Federal law also addresses wage and hour issues such as denial of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the misclassification of employees. Moeller Barbaree represents clients of all sizes, from large corporations to individuals, in employment matters. Our experience helps us understand the unique needs of all of our clients.
Wage and hour issues are primarily governed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic pay standards for most employees. The FLSA provides that employers must pay overtime pay, at a rate of one-and-a-half times an employee’s regular hourly rate, for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA exempts certain types of jobs from this overtime requirement. If an employer violates the FLSA by failing to pay appropriate wages, the employee may recover the unpaid wages, plus liquidated damages, as a penalty for the employer’s violation. State laws, such as Georgia’s, may provide different wage and hour claims and additional damages.
Moeller Barbaree’s lawyers have litigated and favorably resolved hundreds of wage and hour pay claims, including overtime pay, minimum wage, unpaid commissions, misclassification, unauthorized deduction of wages, bonus issues, tip credit issues, and off-the-clock violations.
Employment discrimination occurs when an employee or applicant is treated differently in the workplace or with respect to terms and conditions of work due to a protected characteristic like race, national origin, sex, pregnancy, disability, age or religion. Georgia does not have a separate anti-discrimination law specifying numerous protected classes. Federal laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), protect Georgia employees who work for employers of a certain size.
Employment laws prohibit retaliation against employees or applicants who engage in “protected activities,” which includes complaining to an employer about unlawful discrimination, harassment or other violations of employment laws, being involved in an investigation conducted by an employer or government agency, or filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a related state agency. Retaliation can occur when an employer takes an adverse action, such as termination, demotion or suspension, against an employee for engaging in a certain protected activity. Retaliation can also include more subtle forms of mistreatment by an employer, such as a negative performance review and being left out of meetings. In Georgia, statutes such as Title VII and 42 U.S.C. §1981 protect employees who engage in certain protected activities, such as complaining about discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic from being retaliated against with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment. Our Atlanta employment attorneys can help you understand and assert your rights.
Employment laws generally prohibit workplace harassment on the basis of race, color, sex (including same-sex harassment and harassment based on an employee’s failure to conform to traditional gender stereotypes), pregnancy, national origin, religion, age, genetic information, and disability, as well as harassment in retaliation for an employee’s opposition to a discriminatory employment practice. Georgia state law does not specifically address harassment by private employers. However, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to employers that have at least 15 employees, and prohibits sexual harassment, racial harassment, and other types of harassment. Statutes like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in employment act similarly protect employees from disability and/or age-based harassment. There are two types of harassment claims: quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment. In order to bring a lawsuit under Title VII or certain other statutes for harassment, you will need to first file a charge with the EEOC.
Georgia does not have state overtime laws, but you may be eligible for overtime pay under the federal FLSA for hours worked over 40 in a specific work week. Unless specifically exempted, the FLSA provides that employers must pay overtime pay, at a rate of one-and-a-half times an employee’s regular hourly rate, for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. In addition, the FLSA requires covered employers to pay employees a regular rate not less than the federal minimum wage. Certain states have additional state-specific overtime and minimum wage laws. The employment attorneys at the Atlanta firm of Moeller Barbaree have extensive experience in litigating cases for unpaid overtime.
Some employers misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime and providing other benefits only available to employees. The FLSA exempts certain types of jobs from the overtime requirement. The FLSA’s “white collar” exemptions are the most common. Employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, or “learned” or “creative” professional employees are exempt from the overtime pay requirement if they meet certain criteria regarding their job duties and are paid on a salary basis at least $455 per week. Other examples of employees who may or may not be exempt from overtime requirements include individuals working as computer professionals and independent contractors.
There is no specific claim for wrongful termination under Georgia or federal law in most situations. However, if there is an enforceable employment contract that prohibits termination under certain circumstances, or if there is a violation of an applicable federal anti-discrimination law, it may be possible for an to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Consult a Knowledgeable Employment Lawyer in Atlanta
Whether you are a business or an individual concerned about an employment matter in Georgia, you should make sure that you understand your rights, obligations, and options. Moeller Barbaree represents clients throughout Atlanta and surrounding areas, including Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb Counties, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Dunwoody, and Stone Mountain. Call us at 404-748-9122 or contact us through our online form.
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