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Employment Discrimination

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Major Corporations Petition SCOTUS to Ban LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination


Will the Supreme Court hold that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination against employees based on their sexual identity?

Seventy-six businesses, including mega companies like Apple and Starbucks, along with several LGBTQ rights organizations and scholars are moving for the Supreme Court of the United States to make an official ruling as to whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees against discrimination in the workplace.  Lambda Legal has filed a petition with SCOTUS that it hopes the court will take up.  As more companies and individuals get behind the cause of plaintiff Jameka Evans, our Georgia employment rights lawyers offer an overview of the case and what it could mean for LGBTQ employees nationally.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 7, 2017

The Equal Pay Act Explained

What are my rights under the Equal Pay Act?

Employees in America are protected by numerous federal and state laws against discrimination. One form of discrimination involves paying employees different wages for the same work on the basis of an employee’s sex. While we consider ourselves to be a progressive and forward thinking society, the sad reality is that female employees working full time in the United States continue to earn just 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.


Read more . . .


Monday, July 10, 2017

Second Circuit to Hear Gay Skydiver’s Employment Discrimination Suit

Does Title VII protect gay and lesbian people against employment discrimination?

Recently, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear en banc the case of a skydiving instructor who claims his position was terminated because he was gay.  This New York case dates back to 2010 when Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor, filed a lawsuit against his former instructor, Altitude Express, Inc.


Read more . . .


Friday, June 9, 2017

Could You Have Been Rejected For a Job Due to Age Discrimination?


What is age discrimination and what are my right if I am discriminated against due to my age?

In today’s youth driven society, age discrimination is rampant.  Anyone who is over the age of 40 and hunting for a job should be aware of what constitutes age discrimination and what your legal rights may be if you become the victim of such discrimination. Our Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Pankey & Horlock, LLC discuss the complex subject of age discrimination below.
Read more . . .


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Basics of Worker Misclassification


Employees have certain rights and protections. However, independent contractors have more control over their work and do not have the benefit of many employee protections. Employers sometimes deem workers as independent contractors instead of employees because it is cheaper for them to do so. Independent contractors are not subject to specific laws, including:

  • Protection under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Safe workplace requirements
  • Overtime compensation
  • Minimum wage and hour restrictions

Many of these benefits are expensive for the employer to maintain. To avoid these extra costs, some employers classify workers as independent contractors even though they should technically be considered employees.
Read more . . .


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Understanding Your Right to Vote During the Work Day


The 2016 Presidential election is fast upon us (in case you hadn’t heard), and the official day to cast in-person ballots is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Historically, Election Day is always held on the first Tuesday in November, and as such falls squarely in the middle of the work week for most folks. If you are concerned as to how you will be able to find time to vote during the work day – particularly if your polling place is historically crowded with long wait times – the following details your rights with regard to being able to leave work to vote.


Read more . . .


Saturday, September 24, 2016

EEOC Settles Discrimination Claim with Georgia Baptist Church


What is being done about workplace harassment and discrimination?

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently settled allegations of employment discrimination and retaliation with an independent Baptist church in Douglasville, Georgia.

The case arose after an employee at the King's Way Christian School, operated by King's Way Baptist Church, complained to the school that she was being sexually harassed by the school's pastor and superintendent. Rather than addressing the kindergarten teacher's complaint, the school not only fired her, but also stated she allowed the harassment to occur.

"This case is a good reminder to employers that complaints of discrimination must be treated seriously," said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director of EEOC's Atlanta District Office.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Don't Get Shortchanged: Wage and Hour Claims in Georgia


What are the common wage violations by employers? 

In Georgia, many individuals work hard to make a living and they are entitled to fair pay. Because the state has not enacted wage and hour laws, however, employers are required to pay the federal minimum wage and comply with other provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law requiring employees to be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime pay for hours workers over 40 hours per week at a rate of time and a half.

Certain employees, however, such as executive, administrative and professionals, are exempt from the overtime requirement.


Read more . . .


Friday, April 15, 2016

Washington D.C. Bar Owner Liable For Employment Discrimination


Can you only hire people with certain physical characteristics to work in your establishment?

When opening a new establishment, it might be your vision that all of the staff conforms to a certain look. This perception, however can cause you a lot of trouble as a business owner.  Laws prohibiting employment discrimination prevent you from making hiring and firing decisions based on the physical characteristics of a potential or current employee. That includes the person’s race. A D.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Activist Push for Workplace Rights for LGBT

 Georgia is one of 29 states without laws that specifically protect LGBT citizens against discrimination in the workplace.  A gay couple could be married on a Saturday and fired on Monday because the couple’s employers are uncomfortable with their employee’s sexual orientation. In much of the state, this is perfectly legal behavior.

In the city of Atlanta, however, things are different. The Human Rights Campaign, a national advocacy organization that grades the inclusiveness of municipal governments, gave Atlanta a perfect score of 100 in 2013 and 2014, citing its nondiscrimination laws that include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and its creation of LGBT community liaisons.

Activists intend to push for workplace rights for LGBT state employees during the 2016 legislative session, even though similar legislation has failed to pass in previous sessions. There is reason to suspect that this session might be different, however. There is a change in public opinion and the measure now has 77 cosponsors, 17 of whom are Republicans. Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, which supports the bill, says “if a bill does not have Republican support, it’s not going to pass.” The proposed bill would only affect State employees. Private employers would still be permitted to make employment decisions based on their employees sexual orientation.

Other members of the State legislature are reintroducing measures meant to protect business owners' religious freedom. State Senator Josh McKoon the proposed legislation would protect religious rights against government interference. Critics claim it will give business owners a license to discriminate against minorities. Last March, the bill created much controversy until it was tabled following a contentious hearing. This divisive issue is very much in flux in the state of Georgia.

If you feel that your workplace rights have been violated, you need an experienced attorney who is aware of the changes occurring in our state’s laws to help guide you through the process.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Churches & Anti-Retaliation Protections

How do anti-retaliation laws apply in the non-profit sector?

It ought to go without saying that an employer cannot discriminate against his or her employee for merely following the law. However, anti-retaliation laws have been yet again challenged in Georgia – and this time, it is the non-profit, tax-exempt sector seeking answers on this pivotal issue.

In a recent lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the petitioner is seeking damages and restitution following an alleged retaliatory decision by Atlanta’s King’s Way Baptist Church, Inc. According to the complaint, the petitioner was fired from her position as a kindergarten teacher within the church’s Christian school after reporting ongoing sexual harassment at the hands of the church’s lead pastor, who also serves as the chief executive officer of the non-profit corporation.

Allegedly, the pastor engaged in the ongoing practice of inappropriately touching the teacher, followed by veiled threats of adverse treatment if the interactions were reported. From there, the teacher reported the incidents to the church’s governing board, which opted to terminate her position rather than investigate the matter further.

In a statement by the EEOC’s Atlanta office, “[w]hen an employer fires an employee for complaining about sexual harassment, it is only compounding its own culpability and setting itself wide open for charges of retaliation….EEOC is stepping in to defend the rights of this discrimination victim not to be victimized even further. No one should be punished for telling the truth to power if that truth is sexual harassment.”

Pursuant to the lawsuit, the EEOC (on behalf of the teacher) is seeking back pay, punitive damages, and an injunction barring the school from engaging in further retaliatory acts against current or future employees. The lawsuit was filed after attempts to negotiate and settle the matter proved futile.

If you are experiencing workplace discrimination or would like to discuss your rights under state or federal anti-retaliation laws, please contact an experienced discrimination attorney toady!


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The attorneys of Pankey & Horlock, LLC serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Auburn, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County, GA.



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