If I was terminated on the basis if my race, is that wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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If I was terminated on the basis if my race, is that wrongful termination?

I a black female manager was accused of verbally threatening a white male employee. I was terminated after investigation “witness” confirmed. With no entitlement to argue. In a similar situation a white female manager was accused of putting her hands over the mouth of a black female employee and after investigation the allegations were confirmed. However the manager was not discharged from her employment. I believe that as her admitted action was physical and my alleged action was verbal that my punishment was unjustly severe in comparison.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues:

1) Must a company generally treat employees the same in discipline? No--not unless there was a contract, retaliation for filing a protected claim, or illegal discrimination (see below). So the fact that you were treated more harshly would be allowed--even if you were  treated more harshly for an oral affront than a physical one--if there was no discrimination.

2) As you are aware, racial discrimination--so treating one employee differently than another on the basis of her race--is illegal. From what you write, you may  have suffered racial discrimination, since you were treated more harshly than a white manager and also the company seems to have tolerated a white employee physically assaulting (any unwanted touching is assault) an African American employee. From what you write, it would be worth your time to consult with employment law attorney, who can evaluate your situation in detail and let you know about the strength and value of your case. You have described  set of facts that makes it worthwhile to meet with an attorney. Good luck.

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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