If both you and your spouse work at the same place, is your employer allowed to use that fact against you and threaten to move one to a different shift?

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If both you and your spouse work at the same place, is your employer allowed to use that fact against you and threaten to move one to a different shift?

Recently we asked for the same 2 days off together. Instead of being told no due to lack of coverage, they said no on the grounds that we are married and can’t have same days off. I was then threatened to be moved to a different shift if we needed days off together. This isn’t the first time they have threatened me with this. I was under the impression that while we are at work we are to be viewed as two separate employees, not a couple. Is this discrimination because of our marriage? Are they allowed to threaten my job?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employers are allowed to "discriminate" against employees for any reason not specifically prohibited by law. Unfortunately, neither federal law nor Kansas law protects people from discrimination in employment due to family or marital status (there is some protection against housing discrimination due to family status). Therefore, your employer may treat you differently than other employees because the two of your are married. Here is a link to the Kansas human rights commission webpage for more information: http://www.khrc.net/faq.html

 


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