Is it legal to impose a rule on one employee and not the others?

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Is it legal to impose a rule on one employee and not the others?

I was recently caught in my phone at the place where I work. I was written up and told that I had to leave my phone in my car or locked up at my job only to have access to it on my breaks. The other employees can still have there phone on them. Is it legal to impose a rule/policy on only me?

Asked on June 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Contrary to popular beleif, there is no law providing that all employees must be treated the same, or even fairly. The fact is that discrimination in the workplace is legal unless the differing treatment is the result of actionable discrimination. So, for example, if an employee has been given less favorable treatment due to their status in a legally protected class, that would be a violation of law. In other words, there typicallycan be no discrimination based on such factors as: race, religion, national origin, age (over 40), disability, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Additionally, if their treatment is prohibited by virtue of the terms of a union agreement, employment contract or even company policy, then that too would be illegal. Since most employment is "at will", an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the conditions of the workplace.


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