What are my rights if I was fired because I broke a company policy but subordinates also broke policy and were only given warnings and write-ups?

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What are my rights if I was fired because I broke a company policy but subordinates also broke policy and were only given warnings and write-ups?

I am a female manager; 2 male managers who also broke policy were my management team. Instead of them getting fired, they went through the write-up process that consisted of 3 strikes even though the things that they did were on their no nonsense policy list and cost the company money whereas my mistake was a minor glitch that could be fixed and not cost anyone anything. I don’t want my job back; I was literally fired yesterday and 8 hours later obtained a better job but I feel I should be compensated for the double standard that they put me through.

Asked on February 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you describe may have been illegal employment discrimination, if there was no valid reason for the differential treatment other than your sex or gender. However, it may not be worthwhile taking legal action. The legal system is designed to compensate people for their losses or injuries, including economic injuries, they suffer; however, it does not provide compensation, as a general rule, for simply being treated improperly, without some physical or economic loss at the same time.

From what you write, you have not in fact suffered any career or economic loss--you state they you were unemployed for less than a day and now have a better job. Thus, you have not actually suffered a cognizable loss. Therefore, if you sued, even if you won, you might not actually recover compensatory damages.

You can certainly contact your state labor department to file a complaint--that is free to you (i.e. you're not hiring an attorney), and the labor department may investigate and take action. But as stated above, when you are in a better material position after the illegal action than before, it is usually not worth the time, cost, distraction, etc. of a lawsuit.


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