What constitutes a case for either wrongful termination or unfair treatment?

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What constitutes a case for either wrongful termination or unfair treatment?

I was fired last week, mid shift. I was terminated for a violation of cash policy; my first violation in 4 years with the the company. The violation resulted in theft of monies. All other managers involved admitted to not following the policy either. Now 2 of the managers were on final written warnings stating any violation of any company policy will result in immediate termination. All other managers involved continue to work. Also, the amount missing was misstated on my termination write-up.

Asked on July 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From the facts as presented you do not seem to have a claim for wrongful termination. While seemingly unfair your treatment did not violate any laws. As a general rule, employees do not have to be treated equally or even fairly. It is perfectly permissible to give one employee more favorable treatment than another as long as such treatment does not violate company policy or a union/employment contract. Additionally, differing treatment must not be the result of discrimination. So for example, if you were given less favorable treatment due to your status in a legally protected class, that would be against the law.

Note:  A protected class would be one based on inclusion due to such factors as: race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am a little confused here by what happened.  Did you actually steal money?  In a plan?  Or was it just a big mistake at work that resulted in money being miscalculated?  I can see how you you view this as being treated differently than others under similar circumstances but I honestly do not feel that it will be seen by a judge as discrimination if the situation was an intentional act of thievery.  Si I think that you should speak with an employment attorney in your area to discuss the facts more fully.  And remember that an at will employee can be terminated for any reason at any time.


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