What can I do if I got fired for something that other employees do on a regular basis?

I was fired for taking a poster that was garbage; this goes on in the store all the time (there are cameras to prove it). My assistant manager constantly makes derogatory comments and, like a child, chose that day to go look at the camera to catch me taking the poster. I feel highly discriminated against, especially since it was my first offense. He also gave me a week off with no pay.

Asked on February 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that provides you protection under the circumstances? Was your firing contrary to company policy? Did it constitute some form of actionable discrimination? If not, then your termination was legal. The fact is that not all employees need me treated the same or even farily. This is true unless their treatment is based on their inclusion in a "protected class". This means that they may not be treated differently based on their race, religion, age, disability or gender (and in some states sexual orientation). Othewise, in an "at will" employment arrangement, a compay can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. And generally this means who they fire and why. Actually, an employee can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all (subject to the above exceptions).


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