can a employer deny an employee a promotion because of garnishment of wages?

I’m a deputy clerk for city hall. The city clerk resigned leaving her position
open. Before she left, she was training me. The mayor got angry and said that she
couldn’t promote because unemployment is garnishing my wages. The mayor then
hired another deputy clerk from another city hall in the same county in which we
work.

Asked on May 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a written employment contract guarantying you the promotion, or unless there are civil service rules covering your specific job which requires that it go to you when the clerk resigns (which is unlikely), then the mayor has complete discretion who to promote or not, and why to promote them or not promote them. So as a general matter, this would be legal.
However, it is not legal to not promote someone due to race. If you believe that race was an issue, then you should speak to the federal EEOC and/or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint for illegal race-based employment discrimination.


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