Was I discriminated against? Did they observe procedural due process?

I am a nurse and was addressing another nurse for not having a consent sign before a major operation that requires consent. After I have addressed it to her she falsely accused me that I yelled at her while she was with the patient. No one witnessed the incident. When the supervisor arrived I was called and eventually the supervisor said that I needed to go home and she took my badge but she did not take the other nurses. They are all African American and I am the only Caucasian.

Asked on December 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no such thing as "procedural due process" at work--unless there is a written employment contract (or union agreement covering your position) which guarantees you such process or protection; if there is, you have whatever rights the agreement gives you, and only those rights.
Otherwise, without some contractual protections, there is no entitlement to any due process at work. An employer may discipline you however and whenever it wants.
The only limitation is, it may not discriminate on certain bases, including race and color. But this does not mean that the employer cannot treat an employee of a different race differently: it merely means that the employee may not be treated differently because of or due to her race. She may, however, be treated differently, despite being of a different race than other employees, for non-racial or non-color reasons.
In this case, the issue is whether you were disciplined because of how you spoke to or interacted with the other employee (or the supervisor, after she showed up), which would be permissible, or whether you were discriplined because of your race or color, which would be illegal discrimination. If you believe that your race or color wwas the cause of this treatment, then you may have an employment discrimination case and should contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint.


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