Do I have a discrimination case if I was fired so that my employer could make room for a family member?

I was laid off because the boss brought in his cousin from out of state since he needed a job. Now they say that they can’t afford me. There is an employee also related to owner and he stands around doing nothing but yet he remains an employee.

Asked on June 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless "nepotism" violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it is legal. Additionally, giving a family member preference in hiring is perfectly permissable under the law unless it is also based on some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. race, relgion, age (over 40), diability, etc.). Bottom line most employment is "at will" which means that an employer can set the conditions of the worklace much as it sees fit.


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