What constitutes employment discrimination and wrongful termination?

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What constitutes employment discrimination and wrongful termination?

My manager has been telling me that I am overpaid ever since he has been promoted to being my manager and he was able to see how much I am paid. I find it discriminatory and that he is making every decision (raise, bonus, etc.) based on his belief that I am paid too much and do not deserve it. I am 20 years into my career and a high performing manager in my own right and my current pay is a culmination of several years of hard work. I am now being let go by same manager. Do I have a claim for wrongful termination?

Asked on July 8, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Most employment is "at will," which means an employee may be fired at any time and for any reason or for no reason at all. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If your termination violated an express written agreement or some sort of implied promise, that would be illegal. For example, did your dismissal violate a union agreement, employment contract, company policy or other understanding?  If not than it was not wrongful.

As for any type of discrimination claim, it you should know that employment discrimination is legal so long as it does not constitute legally actionable discrimination. This means that only some forms of discrimnation is illegal. If you were discharged due to your age, gender, race, religion, etc., then that would be legally prohibited. However, if you lost your job simply because your manager resented your payrate, that would not violate any laws. In other words, while unfair, your treatment was legal.


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