Is there any law covering discrimination when it comes to unemployment?

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Is there any law covering discrimination when it comes to unemployment?

I was recently fired from my job along with several other people (unrelated to each other). My employer has contested my unemployment repeatedly claiming misconduct, but during sworn testimony they admitted it was performance not misconduct. A woman was fired for being drugged up at work and was removed from work and offered a drug test. She refused and was fired. Another person was different race and male and was fired for stealing. Neither person’s unemployment was challenged but mine was. I’m a different race/sex than those other cases. Is that discrimination illegal or is it OK to do that?

Asked on September 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It would be worthwhile for you to consult with an employment attorney; you may have a case for  employment discrimination. Under the law, employers may not discrminate on the basis of protected categories, such as race or sex, in making employment decisions or in how they treat employees. This extends, I believe, to making termination decisions, how termination is carried out, and even post-termination treatment (e.g. severance, other post-term benefits, how the termination is characterized). Since many employment attorneys will provide employees a free initial consultation or discussion, to evaluate whether the employee may have a case, it would be worth your time for you to seek out and consult with lawyer, who can evaluate the specifics of your case in detail.


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