What constitutes discrimination in the workplace?

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What constitutes discrimination in the workplace?

I am a new graduate RN and my employer is cutting jobs. I am a casualty of this but only due to having a degree and potential job opportunities. They are firing 1 person in a department of 3. I has senority and good record with them. Is this a form of discrimination?

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A common mistake is to assume that companies can't discriminate--they can, except in certain specifically prohibited ways. That is, there  is no general requirement to treat employees fairly or logically; companies can decide to fire person A instead of B for pretty much any reason except the following: there is no discrimiantion on the basis of certain protected categories, chief among which are race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability. If you think you may be terminated because of your race, religion, etc., that may be illegal job discrimination.

Also, if there  is an employment contract or union agreement, companies must follow their terms regarding firing and termination.

Apart from the above, employers are essentially free to decide who to terminate and who not.


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