If I was fired for violating my jobs attendance policy but another worker who did worse wasn’t, is there anything that I can do about this?

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If I was fired for violating my jobs attendance policy but another worker who did worse wasn’t, is there anything that I can do about this?

I went 6 points over as per the policy and was fired immediately. Another female who works in the same department aI was fired for violating my jobs attendance policy. I went 6 points over the allowed amount and was fired immediately. Another female in my same position has went over by 15 and still has her job.

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require employers to treat employees equally or the same--in the absence of illegal discrimination (see 1, below) or a contract (see 2), an employer may file person A for doing the same thing (or even less) than person B, who is not being fired, did.

1) Discrimination: if you are being treated worse than another employee due to a protected characteristic, such as your race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex, that may be illegal. However, if you and the other employee are both female, this is not likely to be sexual discrimination, which is one of the most common kinds.

2) Contract: if you have an employment contract which address discipline, termination, etc., its terms are enforceable. If you don't have a contract, it's possible one could be "implied" from employee handbooks or policy manuals, IF there is nothing in them which prevents them from doing so. Language which would prevent a contract from being formed by these documents includes "all employment is employment at will," "policies may be changed at will," and "nothing in this manual creates an employment contract." If there is some manual or policy statement which includes language like the above, it will not help you; on the other hand, if the attendence policy is set out in clear terms and there is nothing limiting its effect, it may form a contract. If it does, and if the terms of the contract help you, you may have a cause of action.


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