what if there are fewer than 15 employees?

I have been subjected to various forms of discrimination over the course of my employment from my boss and finally decided to give my written notice to him, in which I stated that unless I received some communication from him showing some willingness to remedy his discriminatory actions against me within the next 15 days, I was going to feel compelled to resign. I received no response to my request, but rather just saw that a new schedule had been put up which had taken my name off entirely after the 14th day, so it seems I have been terminated. The constructive discharge poster at work said I had to give my employer 15 days to respond to my request before deciding whether or not to quit. Well, what do I do when the employer doesn't even allow me those 15 days because he fires me on the 14th day? My original complaint was for age discrimination and sex discrimination but now do I pursue a retaliation charge instead?

1 answer  |  asked May 26, 2010 11:25 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
If your notice made specific reference to unlawful discrimination, such as sex or age discrimination, you probably have a good retaliation claim. An employer may not take adverse action against an employee who complains of unlawful discrimination, and the timing of your termination is obviously related to your notice. But be aware of two important things. First, not all discrimination is unlawful, so complaining about generic unfair treatment is not protected. Second, the two forms of discrimination you mentioned, age and sex, are governed by two very different laws with different remedies and somewhat different methods of proof.

Don't be surprised if your employer claims you quit. The problem with the constructive discharge statute is that it doesn't provide specific remedies or a guarantee that your notice and the employer's lack of response will be deemed a discharge. The statute was written to protect employers, not employees.

Your first step should be to file a charge of retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can find more information about that process at www.eeoc.gov.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  May 27, 2010 11:05 AM [EST]  [ Best Answer - selected by asker ]

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