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Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, March 26, 2021

Can You Sue Your Employer if You Were Wrongfully Terminated?

You saw something at work that wasn’t right and reported it, but the next thing you know you have been disciplined or fired because of it. You are probably thinking that this is unfair – and you would be right. That’s why you may have the basis for a wrongful termination claim. Wrongful termination, often referred to as retaliation or whistleblowing, is illegal. Therefore if you have reported a legal, environmental, or ethical issue, you are legally protected from retaliation.

What Is Retaliation?

Retaliation consists of an action that your employer takes to punish you for exercising your legal rights in the workplace or for reporting wrongdoings. While retaliation may consist of a variety of actions, common methods of retaliation include:

  • Being terminated from your job;
  • Being demoted from your job;
  • Being reassigned;
  • Receiving a pay reduction;
  • Being denied benefits, promotions, or overtime;
  • Receiving a reduction in your work hours; and
  • Being treated in a way that causes you to feel intimidated or fearful.

So What Are You Protected from Reporting?

You are protected from retaliation for reporting many different things, including:

  • Workplace discrimination;
  • Denying employees the right to take breaks;
  • Failure to pay minimum wage;
  • Harassment in the workplace;
  • Discrimination in the workplace;
  • Denying employees the right to legally protected leave;
  • Workplace health or safety violations;
  • Denying employees the right to file for Workers’ Compensation.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing includes the reporting of illegal conduct aside from violations of your workplace rights. Examples of whistleblowing activities that your employer may be partaking in include:

  • Lying on tax returns
  • Production of faulty products
  • Shareholder fraud

Whistleblowing also encompasses situations in which you refuse to engage in illegal activities as well.

What Can You Do?

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, what you must do is dependent upon the situation. You will need to file a report with the relevant government agency. For example, if you have been terminated for reporting safety violations you’d file with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whereas if you were terminated for reporting discrimination you’d have to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

There’s no doubt that the process can often prove confusing. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Georgia Employment Law Attorney who can help you to understand your options and walk you through your case. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or even punitive damages for physical or emotional injury.

The GA Employment Law Attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC Can Help

When you have been wrongfully terminated from your workplace, you may not even know how to proceed. Fortunately, the attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC understand the importance of such cases and are here to help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!


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