What can my wife do if she is being replaced in her job by a man?

My wife is employed in a junior management position at a company. She has been in the position over one year. Great performance numbers, no repremands, no negative reviews. She has been on vacation. On her first day of vacation the company owner came in and announced, in front of the entire staff he was in (from out of the country) to hire a new engineer (open position) and a new manager (my wife’s position). She makes 45K salary and does get overtime pay and she is required to work 10-12 hours over 40 hours. The new position was advertised at $65K and the goal has been to hire a man (at least that’s the feeling). Does she have any recourse. She is 49 years old.

Asked on October 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

d on what you write, she may have a valid claim for gender-based employment discrimination: on the face of things, she is being replaced because she was a woman. It's possible that there is a valid, non-discriminatory reason for the change: maybe the man they hire (if they hire one) has more experience or more degrees/education; maybe they have changed the position or its responsibilities, and your wife is not qualified; maybe even the man they bring in is a good friend of the owner (you're allowed to fire staff to replace them with personal frieneds). However, none of that is evident yet from what you write; therefore, it would be worth your wife's while, IF she actually is terminated or suffers some other negative consequence (there is no claim unless something negative happens) to either speak in detail with an employment law attorney, about possibly bringing a lawsuit; or speaking with either the federal EEOC or your state civil/equal rights agency about filing a complaint.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.