CUMMING, Ga. -- As a marketing manager with CorFire, Andrea Ariza loved her job. She says during her nearly two years with the company, she developed much of their marketing strategy and received positive reviews.
So when she was fired last April, Ariza believed it didn't have anything to do with her performance, but stemmed directly from a human resources complaint she launched two months earlier.
According to her lawsuit, Ariza's former company, SK C&C USA (parent company of CorFire, a Korean mobile technology company) had announced plans to restructure. She and other marketing employees were called into a manager's office to discuss the change.
"He was clear in that he no longer wanted us to focus on strategy, that he wanted us to leave that to higher level people in the company who happened to be men," she said.
"And then he said, it's because 'you are women and you are perceived as weak.'"
In a statement to 11Alive News, Atlanta attorney Joyce Mocek, who represents SK C&C USA, said the company "vehemently denies" the allegations.
"Ms. Ariza was released from her employment due to a reduction of work force, along with four other employees," the statement read, adding they will "vigorously defend Ms. Ariza's lawsuit and her unsupported false claims."
Atlanta employment attorney Amanda Farahany said her client's case is nothing new.
"Unfortunately, we see retaliation cases more than any other kind of case," she said.
"Even if people aren't intentionally discriminating, once they get a complaint about them, people's human nature is to retaliate."
Ariza said she doesn't want her job back, but just wants the company to be held responsible.