Is it legal to be told you made an antiSemitic My fathers Jewish comment the suspend and taken off the schedule with out any paper work or conversations being had.

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Is it legal to be told you made an antiSemitic My fathers Jewish comment the suspend and taken off the schedule with out any paper work or conversations being had.

I recently made a joke about myself being Jewish and worked another shift before
four days passed and went to work one of my managers told me he has to send me
home because of something to do with an antisemitic comment I made. He
emphasis that he was just the messenger and I informed him that not only was my
father and generations before Jewish but I myself had been raised in a multicultural
home where I was taught about my Hebrew ancestry and religion. He laughed it off
and dismissed me. Since then I’ve missed a week of work and the only meeting
given the gm couldn’t attend and I was told after I had gotten there about it. Tonight
the schedule has been released and I’m not scheduled any shifts for the following
week either. I honestly feel like this is extremely discriminatory since other
employee working with me have often made jokes at the expense of there culture,
heritage, race, or country they are from, one girl even made comments insulting
mental illness and people who suffer from said illnesses.

Asked on February 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employee may be suspended for inappropriate comments, including inappropriate comments about a religion or racial group, and even if the employee is a member of that group--there is no exception allowing employees to state racist, anti-semetic, etc. things about their own culture. As a general matter, if an employee commits an offense, the fact that other people are not punished for the same offense does not protect them, the same way that if 10 drivers are speeding and only one is pulled over, the fact that the other 9 got away with it is not a defense.
The above said, IF you can show that only a Jewish employee is punished for a comment about a protected group and that other employees are not--i.e. that the pattern of punishment itself shows a pattern of discrimination (rather than other employees getting away with it because they have seniority, or are friends with management, etc.--i.e. for reasons not due to race, religion, etc.--which would be allowed; employers may treat employees unequally so long as the unequal treatment is not due to a discriminatory reason), you may have a viable employment discrimination claim. You may wish to contact the federal EEOC about filing a complaint: they are generally good at their jobs, and if they think there is something there, you may have suffered discrimination--and conversely, if they don't see a problem, you most likely do not have a claim.


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