Is my daughter being wrongfully discriminated against at work ,if she and another employee are receiving different treatment for the same incident?

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Is my daughter being wrongfully discriminated against at work ,if she and another employee are receiving different treatment for the same incident?

My daughter recently lost hours from work for answering the phone that turned out to be a scam; $900 was stolen. Well, though she answered the phone, she did not process the transaction. She had passed the phone over to another employee, advising them that it had to do with a vendor trying to update the system. The other employee processed the transaction. To make a long story short, she lost her hours and may be terminated. While she is in limbo, she had noticed the person who actually processed the transaction had not lost any hours and continues to work.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer may discriminate against employees, or treat one differently than another, for many reasons, including whom they like more or less. What they can't do is base this differential treatment on specifically protected categories; if they do, that would be illegal discrimination and could give rise to a cause of action or legal claim. The main types of illegal discrimination are based on race, sex, religion, age or 40, or disability; if your daughter believes she received worse treatment due to one of these factors, she should consult with an employment law attorney and/or contact her state's equal opportunity or civil rights agency.


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