Should both employees be fired?

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Should both employees be fired?

My co-worker and I never got along I asked my boss several times if he could switch our schedules. However, he never did. Then, about 2 months ago, my co-worker disrespected me in front of a patient by cursing at me, etc. So when I asked her what her problem with me was, she said let’s step outside. I went to speak with her but she started yelling and calling me all types of names and put her hands in my face twice after I asked her not to. So I restrained her on the floor; I didn’t swing or hit her once even though she was swinging and ripping my shirt as I told her to stop. A girl who was training there tried to break us up. She hit the girl as well and then those 2 started fighting. I broke that fight up. I have the video of the fight to prove my innocence but somehow I was the only one fired and my co-worker still had her job. I feel like it’s favoritism and unfair. And may be racism.

Asked on June 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had an employment agreement or union contract that gave you protection under the circumstances, then your termination may well have been legal. The fact is that most work relationsips are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit, inlcuding who to fire and why. That is unless such treatment is the result of some for of legally actionale discrimination. In other words, a worker receives lesser treatment due to their disability, national origin, religion, age (over 40) or race. If such is the case in your situation (it's hard to say for sure since you provided no details) then you can file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and/or consult directly with a local employment law attorney. At this point, since you did contact a law firm already, you should follow up with it.


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