What to do if I was promoted at work last week but this week was suspended the day before my promotion began due to a 3 year old DUI?

They knew about it the entire time I worked for the company. I had written it on my original application for my first job there and as well as the application I turned in for my promotion. It obviously would show up in my background check. When I was first hired my HR rep requested me to write a letter about my DUI incident to the director of the company at that time so they could hire me. Now they are saying there is a 5 year policy for DUI’s. There are other workers in the company that also have DUI’s in the last 5 years. Is this discrimination?

Asked on August 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not discrimination to not treat all employees the same--companies are allowed to treat some employees better or worse than others. It is only discrimination if the different treatment is due to a specifically protected characteristic or category, such as an employee's race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex. If you are treated worse than others because of a reason like that, you may have a discrimination claim; if not--if they simply are treating you personally differently, without it being because of your race, sex, etc.--then you would not have a claim or cause of action unless you had an employment contract which this behavior violated. That's because without a contract, you are an employee at will, and may be suspended--or fired--at any time, for any reason, which is not illegal discrimination.


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