In Georgia, most employment is considered "at will". This form of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any point, for any reason. Essentially, the only limitation or exception in an "at will" employment is that the termination must not conflict with the law.
Employment that does not fall into the category of "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions. Thus, it is critical that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work agreement, then employment is not "at will", and termination can only be done following the terms of the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Georgia?
Regarding terminating a Georgia employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a certain race, religion, gender, or nationality. Athens employers are further barred from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Moreover, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Finally, employers cannot terminate employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Georgia Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Athens, Georgia attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in collecting the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.