Is it illegal for my workplace to discipline me more harshly than the boss’s son?

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Is it illegal for my workplace to discipline me more harshly than the boss’s son?

On a Friday I got into an argument with the shops head supervisor’s son after we clocked out; we were in the parking lot. The argument was over him shutting the door in my face, and past personal issues between the two of us and within the argument I ended up saying I was going to kick his butt and knock his light out, after he stated, “You don’t want none of this”. People heard, and I got suspended for 3 days; he got zero. There’s been past incidents where employees got into it with the guy and had to quit because he’s never disciplined for his actions. It’s an independently owned factory. Past and present favoritism going on.

Asked on August 3, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that this is legal. Absent actionable discrimination, there is no right to be treated equally or even fairly in the workplace. So unless this less favorable treatment is the result of your age, sex, race religion, or other legally protected class you have no legal protection here. You would also have protection if the treatment violated a company policy, an employment contract, or a union agreement. As much as this situation smacks of favoritism, there has been no violation of the law.


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