Can I be fired without notice and treated differently from a co-worker?

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Can I be fired without notice and treated differently from a co-worker?

Last month a co-worker and I worked an hour of overtime. As we clocked out the owner of the company noticed that we had received overtime. We left and not long after we each received a call from the owner expressing how displeased he was with us. Words were exchanged and next thing I hear was, “Your fired”. Next day when I picked  up my check, a paper saying the reason for termination was “unauthorized overtime and excessive absences.” I have never been verbally warned nor written up for either, plus no action was taken against my fellow co worker. He is still currently employed. Do I have case?

Asked on August 12, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In most state employment relationships are known as "at will".  This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason at or no reason at all.  With or without notice.  The only defense here would be is this action violated a union/employment contract or official company policy.

However, if you think that you have been treated differently due to some form of discrimination you may well have a claim.  There can be no discrimination in the work place based on such factors as race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin.  If t you think that discrimination played a role in your termination you should contact CA's department of labor for further information.

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In most state employment relationships are known as "at will".  This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason at or no reason at all.  With or without notice.  The only defense here would be is this action violated a union/employment contract or official company policy.

However, if you think that you have been treated differently due to some form of discrimination you may well have a claim.  There can be no discrimination in the work place based on such factors as race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin.  If t you think that discrimination played a role in your termination you should contact CA's department of labor for further information.


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