What are my rights regarding employment discrimination and termination?

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What are my rights regarding employment discrimination and termination?

Yesterday I was terminated from my position. I have worked at my company for 3 years. It came out of left field because I never received any warnings and didn’t have a record with the company. I was always on time, hard worker, never missed deadlines, and succeed in my position. I feel I am facing discrimination because 6 months ago we hired a new person after me who is in the same position as me. They dissolved my position, but they didn’t fire him. I asked to why am I being let go when I have been here for 3 years and he hasn’t even been here for a year? HR told me they couldn’t disclose that information, and I said you can’t disclose anything? Performance or anything? And she again told me they can’t. She also told me that they are restructuring the company and my position is being dissolved. This also happened when my manager who I report to was away, she was not consulted with HR that they were going to make this move on me. If they had consulted my manager I would not have lost my job, my manager has even reported and has had issues about the new hire who has the same position as me. I feel like I am experiencing sexism, and I feel something shady and illegal went down. Theyoffered me a severance package and I signed it. I’m worried now that because I signed it I can’t sue.

Asked on January 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did you have an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement that prohibited this action? Did it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then you have no claim here. Specifically, as to discrimination, you would only have a case if you were treated differently due to your race, religion, disability age (over 40), natioality, etc. None of which you indicated to be the situation. The reality is that absent discrimination, employees need not be treated the same or even fairly. In an at will employment setting, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes who to terminate, when and why. The fact is that a worker can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did you have an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement that prohibited this action? Did it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then you have no claim here. Specifically, as to discrimination, you would only have a case if you were treated differently due to your race, religion, disability age (over 40), natioality, etc. None of which you indicated to be the situation. The reality is that absent discrimination, employees need not be treated the same or even fairly. In an at will employment setting, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes who to terminate, when and why. The fact is that a worker can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. 


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