Can a supervisor fire me and not give another employee punishment for the same incident?

UPDATED: Dec 8, 2011

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Can a supervisor fire me and not give another employee punishment for the same incident?

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

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. That is unless the differing treatment is the result of actionable discrimination. For example, if you have been given less favorable treatment due to your status in a legally protected class, that would be a violation of the law. In other words, there can be no discrimination based on such factors as: race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin.

Additionally, if your treatment was prohibted by virtue of existing company policy, an employment contract or union agreement, then that would be illegal.

The fact is that an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace. This includes who, when and for what to terminate an employee.

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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