Is it legal for 3 male supervisors to take a female in a room behind close doors to present her with write-ups and termination?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for 3 male supervisors to take a female in a room behind close doors to present her with write-ups and termination?

I had no write-ups in my file. Went into work and was met by 1 supervisor. He told me to punch in and then needed to come down to the office. There 3 managers brothers and a kitchen manager sat me down after closing the door and proceeded to give me 4 write-ups, 2 of which was a conversation I had with my general manager 2 months prior and was resolved. I was told that we were all set and that was the end of it now he is giving me a write-up? Then told me I had a chose to either get done or be fired. The owner at the time was out of town. I am a previous dining room

manager but I asked to step down as I had too much going on in my life for that kind of commitment. I have a great work ethic history and the owners have a lot of respect for me.

Asked on December 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) There is nothing illegal about a female employee being behind closed doors with male supervisors, managers or coworkers. Clearly, they may not sexually harass, etc., the woman, but this is not the case of going to a doctor's office, where a female has the right to have a female nurse or other office staff member present for examinations; in the employment context, there is no law against men and women being behind closed doors together.
2) A supervisor may write up a staff member and terminate her regardless of her work history or how good an employee she is. If she had a written employment contract preventing this, that would be different--the employer (i.e. the supervisor) must honor the terms of the contract, and if there did not, the employee could sue for "breach of contract." However, without a contract, employment is employment at will, and a supervisor may discipline or terminate an employee at any time, for any reason.
3) The owner could overrule the supervisor and take other action if he chose--for example, he could fire this supervisor and give you the job. But that is voluntary on the owner's part; if he lets the supervisor get away with this, there is nothing you can do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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