Is This Discrimination?

Question:

My husband and several other people were let go from their white collar jobs. We just found out that the only people keeping their jobs in his department were NON-U.S. Citizens. In his job you had to get a work “score” minimum of 10. He and those let go were CONSISTENTLY getting scores of 100-200 and sometimes more. Those the company kept had a very hard time achieving this score of TEN.

Because this American company based in Jacksonville FL let go ONLY AMERICAN CITIZENS and kept ONLY non-citizens on work visas, is there any recourse my husband can take?

We wouldn’t normally bother but we just bought a house because his boss said he was getting a raise and now we can’t pay for the house!

Signed,

Needing Advice


Answer:

Dear Needing Advice:

It sounds to me as though you need to ask an attorney for a free consultation about this. When your husband talks to the paralegal or attorney he will need to have provide some background and detail about the firings. For example, how much notice was given, what reasons were given, did the employees have a real or implied contract, were representations made that would have kept employees from seeking other jobs in time? All are issues that an attorney would want to know about.

If it appears there is a potential for getting civil claims, an attorney may be willing to work on a contingency basis–getting paid if your husband and his co-workers win the case.

Whether or not those who were retained are U.S. citizens or foreign nationals on work visas is not the primary issue–the issue is, were the firings of employees fair under state law and stated company policy? If a lawyer feels there is no legal remedy involved, your husband and the others may want to contact a state senator or representative–or your congressional representative. One of those might very well see this as an issue to look into.

The key is to have facts, not speculation. And, it would help to have the names and contact information of the CEO or President of the company as well as the HR manager or others involved in the decision.

It certainly seems like a poor business practice to fire those who are producing good work and keep those who are not! That is why I’m inclined to believe there is more to it than the basic facts. Or, that the supposed facts are exaggerated or not true at all.

Your husband will benefit by contacting others to see if they are working with an attorney already, or if they have already been advised that there is no legal remedy.Then, you will know you’ll have to try the other options.

Best wishes to you. I’m sure this is a frustrating and frightening experience. Hopefully your husband’s good work will help him when he seeks another job.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.