In Georgia, most employment is considered “at-will” when there is no employment contract or statutory provision. At-will employment means either the employer or employee can terminate the work relationship at any given time without notice and without cause. However, the termination must not violate a specific employment law.
For example, it is illegal for an employee to be fired, demoted, treated unfairly or forced to quit due to illegal discrimination. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Other examples of illegal termination include terminating the worker to avoid paying benefits or disability pay, or firing a worker for taking pregnancy leave. Even if an employment is considered to be at-will, and employer cannot terminate an employment relationship based on illegal discrimination.
An exception to “at will” employment is when you have an employment contract. Employment contracts are allowed in Georgia and violations of an employment contract can lead to a strong wrongful termination claims or breach of contract claims. One such example is if an employee is terminated without good cause before an already agreed upon termination date in the employment contract, the employee may have a wrongful termination claim.
There are many different remedies for employees who have been terminated due to wrongful termination. Some of these remedies include being reinstated to the former job position, entitlement to back pay and injunctive remedies.