Everyone has issues at work. Unfortunately, some of those issues metastasize into serious legal issues. Georgia employees are in a complex legal environment where state and federal laws overlap. It can be difficult to find answers when you need them. If you have found yourself facing issues at work that you believe are violating your rights as an employee, Hoffer Trial Lawyers, LLC can help you find a way forward.


Despite efforts to the contrary, work-related discrimination continues to be an issue for many Americans. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits adverse treatment of employees, former employees, and applicants based on their being a member of various protected classes, including the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion

Discrimination can be overt or can be more subtle. Work-related discrimination can include employment actions like:

  • Denial of employment
  • Passing over for promotion
  • Unequal access to opportunities for advancement
  • Being assigned less desirable duties, locations, or shifts
  • Unequal discipline or inequitably applying policies
  • Poor performance reviews
  • Encouraging or allowing a hostile work environment

It’s important to note that discrimination does not have to be intentional to be actionable—employees may have a discrimination claim if an employer’s practices or policies have a disparate impact on members of a protected class.

In short, discrimination occurs whenever you are treated differently due to being a member of a protected class, but it is not always easy to identify, and the facts are critical. If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace, an employment lawyer from HTL can assess your claim and help you find a way forward.

Hostile Work Environment and Harassment

Another issue workers may face is what is known as a “hostile work environment”—a work environment so toxic that an employee is effectively unable to perform their job because of severe and pervasive harassment from co-workers, superiors, customers, or clients.

This is one of the most stringent legal standards in the employment sector, and someone must be harassed based on their gender, race, or other protected characteristic in order for the harassment to give rise to a legal claim. Isolated incidents are insufficient, and the work environment must be intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Some examples of workplace conduct that could substantiate a hostile work environment include:

  • Derogatory comments
  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Offensive gestures
  • Inappropriate or unwanted touching
  • Threats or other forms of intimidation
  • Displaying offensive pictures or symbols

When conduct of this type is so severe or pervasive that an employee’s terms and conditions of employment are altered, the employee may have a hostile work environment claim.

Sexual harassment—harassing someone specifically based on their sex or gender can also include a specific type of harassment known as “quid pro quo” harassment. Quid pro quo harassment can include things such as offering a promotion in exchange for sexual favors or demanding sexual favors to avoid negative consequences such as termination or pay cuts.


Another type of adverse action that is recognized by federal law is retaliation by an employer against an employee or former employee who has participated in protected conduct, which includes conduct like:

  • Complaining about discrimination or harassment
  • Taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Requesting a reasonable workplace accommodation due to a disability
  • Requesting accommodations for religious practice
  • Being a witness on behalf of another employee in a lawsuit, EEOC investigation, or discrimination investigation

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate, poorly review, or otherwise act adversely against you for conduct mentioned above or for otherwise attempting to exercise your rights. If your employer has acted in such a way that would deter a reasonable person from pursuing their rights, reach out to us right away.

Hoffer Trial Lawyers, LLC — An Ally for Workers

If you believe you have been discriminated against or would like a consultation to discuss your rights as an employee, contact us today via phone or email to discuss how we can help.