Wrongful termination and falsifying work documents...
I was terminated by my district manager for no apparent reason, though random reasons were sighted on a Performance Improvement Plan. At the time my division departments were doing fine and up to company standard.
My district manager put me on on Performance Improvement Plan that was never finalized, then brought in another sheet of paper claiming it to be the same Performance Improvement Plan (clearly it was not). The original was never brought to me or discussed.
The new document stated it was a final warning, even though all metrics in the division were way above company standard.
In a short time I came to find out that a white peer employee was on the same type of Performance Improvement Plan with far more severe operational issues and was not terminated, yet moved to another division.
I will file a discrimination charge with the EEOC. I'm pretty sure I have have the documentation that I need, however I have two questions:
1. Should I also file a claim in a different court for falsifying documents and not following the company's own protocol to terminate, or should I file them together under the EEOC claim?
2. Will sending a pre-litigation summary to the employer weaken my case?
Thank you for any perspective you can give.
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ANSWER for "Wrongful termination and falsifying work documents...":
The State of Georgia is an "at-will" employment state. This means an employee can be terminated for just about any reason short of discrimination. In your case, discrimination is defined as termination of employment based on race, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, gender, age, or pregnancy.
While you can file a lawsuit in one of Georgia's Superior Courts, you should know the at-will doctrine may prevent you from succeeding. In fact, based on Georgia's at-will employment rule, it's likely your case will be dismissed upon the defendant's filing of a Motion for Summary Judgment. See Rule 6.5 Motions for Summary Judgment, which reads:
"Upon any motion for summary judgment pursuant to the Georgia Civil Practice Act, there shall be annexed to the notice of motion a separate, short and concise statement of each theory of recovery and of each of the material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue to be tried. The response shall include a separate, short and concise statement of each of the material facts as to which it is contended there exists a genuine issue to be tried."
After checking Georgia's Court rules, we were unable to find anything called a "Pre-Litigation Summary." For more information related to Georgia's employment laws see the Georgia Department of Labor website.
Under the fact scenario you present, you would be best served by allowing the EEOC to conduct an investigation.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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