Can I sue for wrongful termination if a company has a policy that is unfairly enforced?

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Can I sue for wrongful termination if a company has a policy that is unfairly enforced?

The company I worked for had a policy where an employee could only miss 3 clockins or lock-outs in a 3 month period. They have no way for the employees to verify this, only by memory. I wrote to the corporate office when I received my second notice that I failed to punch. I received a call from someone in the corporate office who advised that she understood that it was unfair but it was their policy and they have no way for an employee to verify their punches. She also acknowledged that they have had to let several good employees go for this reason.

Asked on February 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If there is no employment contract or agreement (including a union agreement), you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason, including bad or unfair reasons. The law does not, with only a very few exceptions, require employers to be fair. So without a contract, your employer may terminate you or otherwise discipine you whenever they want.

2) A company can't discriminate or harass someone specifically because of certain protected categories; so if you were treated differently or worse than others because of something like your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability status, you may have a cause of action.

3) A company also can't retaliate against someone for using certain protected rights; so if you were treated badly because you filed a worker's comp claim, a wage and hour claim, or used FMLA leave, for example, you may have a cause of action.

 

 


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