What to do if I was forced to either resign or be fired today after but my boss did not follow company policy?

I worked for a Fortune 500 company for 27 years. It has a step approach to discipline which starts at verbal, written, 2nd written and then final written. I was given a final back 9 months ago with none of the others. I also have health problems; I suffered a stroke 4 years ago which I also feel she held against me. Since she did not follow company policy that we all have to follow, do I have a recourse?

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment law attorney: you may have one or more causes of action:

1) An employer's own, voluntarily assumed internal policy is *not* enforced by the courts--unless the circumstances under which it was set out create a contract. A step approach to discipline *may* create a contract if the documents setting it out (e.g. employee handbook) do not contain any  caveats or limitations (for example, does not contrain any phrases like  "nothing in this handbook shall be taken to create a contract of employment" or "notwithstanding anything in this handbook, all employment is employment at will"). Depending on how and where this policy was articulated, it may or may not be enforceable, and an attorney can review the documents setting it out, to see if this may be the case.

2) If you are (presumably!) over 40, but negative action was taken against you at least in part due to your age, that may be illegal age-related discrimination.

3)  If you would be considered disabled due to the effect of your stroke, but negative action was taken because of that, that may be illegal discrimination against the disabled.

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