Can an employer take away your paid luch after 6 years and not everyone else’s?

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Can an employer take away your paid luch after 6 years and not everyone else’s?

My husbanf had paid lunch for the last 6 years until his boss took out for medical leave. The new acting boss has taken away his paid lunch along with 2 other guys. However another guy they work with (who is brothers with 1 of the supervisors) was stating that he is still getting paid. My husband went to the boss with this and the boss shook his head and walked away mad that my spouse was complaining and another supervisor stated they could do what they want. He went to the higher up who said the loss of lunch was across the board (but it was not). Now they are retaliating against him.

Asked on March 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Does your husband have an employment contract? If he does not, then he is an employee at will and, unfortunately, the terms and conditions--including compensation and benefits--of an employee at will are completely at the discretion of the employer. The employer may take away a benefit had for many years and, moreover, an employer is not under any general obligation to treat employees fairly or equally--the employer may take compensation or benefits away from one employee without taking it from others.

What an employer can't do is discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability. If you or your husband feel that the unequal treatment is discrimination on one of these grounds, he may have an employment discrimination claim and could contact either the Dept. of Labor and/or an employment attorney.

If there is a contract which provides for lunch, that must be honored.


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