Was I discriminated against by my employer?

UPDATED: Oct 24, 2011

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Was I discriminated against by my employer?

I work for a good company but 5 months ago I went and saw the doctor and he told me that I had a stress fracture in my foot and told me that I needed to be in a walking boot. Upon telling my employer this I was told that I could not return to work without a custom made enclosed toe boot, so I used my vacation and spent another week off unpaid. About a month later, one of my managers broke her foot and was able to return to work with a regular open toe walking boot. Then today there happened to be another employee at work with an open toed walking boot on. The more I thought about it I remembered that a couple years ago there was another employee with an open toed walking boot. I am a male and all 3 of the others that were allowed back to work are female. I feel cheated because I had to use my vacation and was not allowed back to work.

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it is *possible* that you were discriminated against, since the only male with a broken foot was treated differently than the three women. Of course, there could also be non-discriminatory explanations for the differential treatment: e.g. were the injuries not comparable (different severity, different locations on foot, etc.); does your job require more walking, so you needed to be treated differently than the others?

Even if you were discriminated against, you need to think about whether it's worth trying to take action: you say it's a good company, but to take legal action against will presumably damage your relationship with it (even though under the law, companies are not allowed to retaliate for bringing a sex discrimination claim, it's very easy to retaliate in some way without creating an actionable case about retaliation).

If you think you may want to go ahead, then you need to consult with an employment attorney, who can evaluate all the facts in detail.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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