Is this a legal environment to treat one employee different than another?

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Is this a legal environment to treat one employee different than another?

I am close to getting terminated due to attendance. I have called out sick a few times and been late multiple times. There is another person here that has been twice as many times late as I have and he is never held accountable. He has a friendship with management. Is this fair?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It's not fair, but it's almost certainly legal. The law does NOT require employers to treat all employees the same or fairly, and favorable treatment for friends is very common.

The exception is that the differential treatment may not be based on discrimination against (or in favor of) certain specifically defined categories, such as race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability. Treating employees differently on those bases is illegal. If you think that discrimination on one of these bases is at the root of the unfair treatment, you should speak with an employment law attorney--you may have a legal claim.


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