Firing one employee and not others

Question:

Is it legal to fire one employee and just “warn” other employees for doing the exact same thing?

Signed,

Same Thing


Answer:

Dear Same Thing:

Same fault, different consequence. Doesn’t seem fair. However, unless there is discrimination of some sort; based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age; the odds are that there is no legal reason that can challenge what appears to be unfair. Generally, employers are careful to be consistent. Firing usually is for good cause and after several infractions unless they are serious breaches of safety, mistreatment of customers, fighting, or dishonesty. Unions usually help monitor cause and procedure for warning and firing. If you have a union, check with them. Or consult with an attorney, if you think that the firing-warning is clearly discriminatory. Might the wisest thing to learn from this is to earn the good will and loyalty of one’s employer by being the kind of employee that you would want to keep if you were the employer? If you are the one fired, hopefully you can find a job that is more than a paycheck, one that uses your talents and makes a small difference for the good of others. Concern for what is fair for one’s self is natural and necessary. Concern for what is fair for others, one’s employer, and one’s community is what I think of as WEGO mindedness. Do feel free to tell us if this makes sense and how the job-finding goes.

William Gorden