Can I get my week’s pay and/or my original job back after being unfairly suspended/transferred?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Can I get my week’s pay and/or my original job back after being unfairly suspended/transferred?

I was suspended a week without pay for saying the word “S–T”, after being harassed by 3 high school boys and telling them I was sick of it. I apologized after. Another driver received 2 verbal warnings before she was suspended for yanking on a student’s arm and yet another driver was only verbally warned after lifting her shirt up and exposing her breast to students. After 3 weeks I received a letter to say I’d been transferred; no explanation.

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, the law does not enforce fairness; an employer could legally discipline one employee more harshly than another. The exceptions, or when you might have a cause of action, are:

1) If you have a contract, including a union agreement, which sets forth discipline procedures; if so, they must be followed.

2) If you believe your harsher treatment was due to discrimination against you because of a protected characteristic--for example, discrimination on the basis of your race, sex, age over 40, religion or disability.

Apart from the above, however, the employer could suspend then transfer you, while treating other employees less seriously.

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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