In Georgia and the majority of U.S. states, employment relationships without a contract are considered “at will.”  As a general rule, this means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship for any reason or no reason at all.  Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are not always obvious. For example, many people believe that there is a claim for “wrongful termination” in an at-will employment jurisdiction.  However, that specific claim doesn’t exist in many states.  Instead, termination-related claims must be raised under very specific laws, many of which are federal.  This misconception is one example of why you need an experienced plaintiff’s employment lawyer to evaluate your situation to see if you have any viable claims.


While not an exhaustive list of scenarios, the issues identified below provide some specific circumstances that may give rise to recognized employment-related claims. If you are experiencing any of these issues at work, I would encourage you to consult with an employment attorney to get a detailed analysis of your situation.



Has your employer (or potential employer) treated you differently than others because of a protected characteristic?

  • Age (over 40)
  • Gender
  • Race
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation or identity
  • Genetic information 
  • Disability, which includes:
    • Discrimination because of your close association with a disabled individual;
    • Failing to make reasonable accommodations;
    • Improper workplace medical exams or inquiries (pre-offer, while job offer is pending, or during employment); 
    • Taking adverse employment action because of information learned from a job-related medical exam or inquiry.

Were you a victim of sexually harassment or subjected to hostile treatment at work because of a protected characteristic?

  • Were any other employees treated in the same hostile manner by the same individual(s)? If so, what protected characteristics do you and those other employees share and what traits are different?
  • Was the conduct frequent? 
  • Was the conduct threatening or humiliating?
  • How did the conduct towards you alter your work environment?
  • Does the company have a policy about reporting harassment?
  • Did you report the conduct to anyone? (If so, what action did the employer take?)


Medical leave

Did you receive an adverse employment action becuase you did one of the following:

  • Made a complaint to someone in authority (supervisor, manager, owner, officer, HR, etc.) about differential treatment/discrimination based on a protected characteristic?
  • Complained to someone in authority about a hostile work environment based on a protected characteristic?
  • Participated in someone else’s claim of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation?
  • Did you take FMLA leave or Military leave?
  • Did you complain about minimum wage or overtime issues?
  • Were you punished at work for attending a court ordered proceeding (deposition, trial, etc.) or serving on jury duty?
  • Do you work for a state or local government agency and suffered an adverse action after reporting violations of laws, regulations or rules by your employer?

Were you entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act becuase

(1) your employer is a public agency or is a private company with 50 or more employees with a 75-mile radius and

(2) you were employed with the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to needing leave time:

If so, 

  • Did you request FMLA leave but your employer denied it?
  • Did your employer interfere with your ability to take FMLA leave?
  • Did your employer deny you reinstatement (entirely or to a substantially equivalent position) after your FMLA was over?
Did your employer deny leave time that you requested as a reasonable accommodation for your disability?



Did your employer misclassify your position as “exempt” from overtime (i.e., you are paid a salary but your job duties do not meet the legal criteria for being exempt from overtime)?

Were you paid you for all hours worked at the proper rate?

Are you a non-exempt employee being paid overtime for hours exceeding 40 in a workweek? 

When viewed on a weekly basis, was your pay less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Does your employer owe you commissions?

Was your rate of pay changed retroactively (i.e., after the money was earned)?

Did your employer improperly dock or withhold certain amounts from your paycheck?

Did an employer breach a written contract covering the duration of your employment, limitations on reasons for termination, and/or guaranteeing certain types of compensation or benefits? 

Is your non-compete agreement enforceable?

Are there other potential contract claims related to your employment?

For more information about employment claims, take a look at the

 HELPFUL LINKS section.  


You can also REQUEST A CONSULTATION to see if my firm can assist you or provide a referral.

This web site (including links, blogs or other content) is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice.  Any interaction through this web site, including but not limited to any comments or the submission of a consultation request, does not create an expressed or implied attorney-client relationship. 

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Skip to content