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Perhaps your hours were cut short with no adjustment to your salary. Maybe your employer wouldn't cover your expenses for traveling from their Atlanta office to a client's Marietta warehouse. Employers who do these things and other unfair practices against employees can be held accountable to Georgia's employment laws.
Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker's compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. Georgia employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.
A common employment law issue in Georgia is when an employer misclassifies their employees. There are two major types of workers: employees and independent contractors. An employee who is misclassified as an independent contractor could be forced to pay taxes that the employer should pay, or may not qualify for certain protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act or other laws.
There are several defining factors differentiating employees from independent contractors outlined by the Internal Revenue Service and the Georgia Department of Labor, including:
As of January 2017, Georgia's minimum wage is $5.15. The federal minimum wage is $7.25, so most Georgia employers are required to pay the federal minimum wage. Clarkston is the only Georgia city that has increased its minimum wage to $15 for city workers.
Employees with specialized skills in their job field may face tough legal obstacles when trying to find new work. Employers have a right to protect their intellectual property if a former employee goes to work for a competitor. To prevent a conflict of interest, an employee may be required to sign a non-compete agreement.
A non-compete agreement restricts an employee from finding work with the employer's competitors for a specific time limit and, sometimes, in specific locations. In 2010, Georgia revised its non-compete laws in the Restrictive Covenant Statute (see O.C.G.A. § 13-8-53) with more employer-friendly provisions, including:
Despite these changes, employees were given a few new rights. For example, if a former employee held a low-ranking position without specialized skills or access to crucial business resources, they may be exempt from certain provisions of Georgia's non-compete laws.
If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it's in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced Georgia employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer -- as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. Meet with a local employment attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.