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

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

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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