Employment Law in Georgia — An Overview
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Employment Law in Georgia is largely governed by federal law. Even the minimum wage in Georgia is set by federal law because Georgia’s state minimum wage is below the federal wage. Besides minimum wage, other important aspects of employment law in Georgia include hiring practices, compensation, working conditions, worker’s compensation, and termination. If you feel that your rights under Georgia’s employment laws have been violated, an attorney may be able to help.

Read on to learn more about the most important aspects of employment law in Georgia.

Non-Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Non-discriminatory hiring practices are required under federal law. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against prospective employees for many reasons. These include race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, and more.

It is also illegal for employers to ask certain questions during the hiring process. For example, a prospective employer cannot ask if you’re married or if you plan on having a child in the near future.

If you feel that a prospective employer has broken any of these laws, you may have grounds for a suit. You should contact a lawyer that specializes in employment law cases so they can inform you of your options.

Equal Compensation

In Georgia, as in all states, employees must be paid equally for doing the same work. As in the hiring process, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation when determining employee compensation.

If you feel that your employer has violated your rights by not paying you equally, you should contact an employment law attorney, They will investigate your case and determine whether your employer may have violated your rights. If they have, you could be due significant damages.

Minimum Wage

In Georgia, the minimum wage is technically $5.15 per hour. This is the lowest state minimum wage in the country (tied with Wyoming). However, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour applies because Georgia’s minimum wage is less than the federal rate. Any employers who are paying employees less than the minimum wage could face stiff penalties under federal law. Unfortunately, many employers will pay employees a cash wage of less than the federal minimum wage to avoid taxes.

Working Conditions

There are many laws that employers have to follow regarding working conditions for their employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, has created regulations that employers must follow.

The regulations that employers must follow vary based on the industry. In general, employers must provide their workers with safety equipment to protect them from any hazards they may face. Employers are also required to give employees information about any potential hazards and to post warnings about dangerous conditions in the workplace. If employees are injured or become ill due to illegal working conditions, they may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation

If an employee is injured in the workplace or while performing their work duties, their employer must pay for their medical care and lost wages. Employers are also required to carry worker’s compensation insurance so that they can afford these costs. In most cases, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will quickly pay any required compensation. However, this is not always the case.

If your employer does not pay the compensation that you are due for an injury on the job, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Georgia state law requires that employer’s carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not and you are injured on the job, you should contact an attorney.

Termination

Georgia is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can fire workers for almost any reason or for no reason at all. However, there are certain reasons that are not legal grounds for termination. Employers cannot fire workers for reasons related to their race, gender, religious beliefs, or nationality. However, this does not apply to employers with fewer than 15 employees.

Employers also cannot fire workers if this would result in them breaching a contract. Also, it is illegal for an employer to fire a worker in retaliation for a legal action (such as whistleblowing) or for taking family leave.

An Experienced Attorney Can Protect Your Rights Under Georgia Employment Law

If you feel that your rights under Georgia employment law have been violated, an attorney may be able to help. Barnwell Law Group has numerous attorneys that specialize in worker’s compensation and other areas of employment law. They can consult with you to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. If you do have a case, they can help guide you through the process moving forward.

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