Can an employer separate married employees in the workplace?

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Can an employer separate married employees in the workplace?

So before my husband and I got married, we were both in different departments and on the same level. We told HR the day before we were getting married and they suggested we do our part in avoiding conflicts of interest. We are the only same sex married couple within our business. My husband then got promoted yet they allowed us to continue our same shifts and working hours together for around 8 months. I received a call from my manager that I am being transferred to a different schedule in order to avoid nepotism. There are several other married employees that are in the same positions or even in the same department that have not been forced to change any scheduling. The policy states that as soon as a relationship begins it is to be disclosed to HR by the most senior employee so that scheduling may be rearranged. Is this discrimination if other married couples are allowed to continue their employment at the company while married but I have to have my schedule rearranged?

Asked on June 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The fact is that discrimination in the workplace may be legal; not all employees need be treated the same. The only time that discrimination is applcable is if it has to do with lesser treatment based on a person's race, religion, nationality, gender, age (over 40) or disability. Accordingly you have no claim here. A business is free to set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The fact is that discrimination in the workplace may be legal; not all employees need be treated the same. The only time that discrimination is applcable is if it has to do with lesser treatment based on a person's race, religion, nationality, gender, age (over 40) or disability. Accordingly you have no claim here. A business is free to set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary.


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