What constitutes employment discrimination?

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What constitutes employment discrimination?

My boss is pressuring me to “open up my availability” after years of no changes, and because I am a mother this is not feasible for me. If I don’t start working nights I will be demoted, receive a cut in hours, or be transferred to another location. He said via text message, “every other supervisor is willing to work with what we need…yes you have a child but the others have school and other responsibilities as well…” Doesn’t pressuring me this way count as discrimination?

Asked on January 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is not discrimination: an employer may determine the hours that employees need to work, and if other employees in similar jobs or at similar levels to you work nights or are available nights, the employer may require you to do so, too--and if you can't, could demote you, transfer you, cut your hours, etc. The employer could not single you out to have to work more than everyone else--that could be illegal discrimination or harassment--but your question makes it seem that other supervisors are working more, later, or different hours than you, and the employer wants you to do what other supervisors are doing. If that is the case, and they just want you to what seems to be the norm for people in your position or at your level, that is legal.


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