What to do about employment discrimination?

I was employed as a delivery driver and was working Monday through Wednesday 7:30 to 1:00. I left for vacation and I told my manager that I just want to work just 2 days a week when I got back. He told me he couldn’t accommodate that. However, he has one guy working 1 day a week just so he can get a discount on his parts. And other guys that work the front counter work part-time because they go to school. Why is it he can accommodate them but not me? I was semi-retired at the time but now I had to quit because of that. Do I have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit

Asked on July 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Notwithstanding an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, the fact is that not all workers need be treated the same or even fairly. That is so long as such lesser treatment is not due to their disability, race, religion, nationality, gender, or age (over 40). Based on what you have written, it is not clear if age discrimination is at play here since you are presumably older being that you are semi-retired and at least some of other workers whose schedules are being accomodated appear to be younger since they are also in school.If this is the case then you may have a claim here. At this point, you can consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you further once they have reviewed all of the facts of your situation.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not necessarily illegal employment discrimination to treat one employee differently than others: the law allows employers to favor certain employees or disfavor others. As a general matter, the employer could offer to accommodate other employees but not you.
The only thing that is illegal is treating an employee differently because of or due to certain specifically defined and protected characteristics. If you are a minority and the other employees are not, that may be illegal discrimination to treat them better. If they are a different sex than you, or religion than you, or have a different national origin (come from a different country) and are treated better, that might be illegal. If you are over 40 and they are under 40 and are treated better, that could be illegal. If you are disabled and they are not, that may be illegal discrimination, too. But other than that, if you are being treated differently not due to one of these reasons, it is legal to treat you differently or worse.

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