As children, many of us decried what we saw as inconsistent treatment of ourselves versus peers or siblings with the oft-used refrain “that’s not fair!” For adults, when inconsistent treatment in the workplace happens because of your race, sex, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc., then that often is illegal discrimination. When it happens because you refused a decision-maker’s request for sex, that’s sexual harassment. And when it happens because you engaged in protected activity as part of opposing illegal conduct like discrimination or harassment, that can amount to illegal retaliation. If you’ve encountered that last one then, with representation from a skilled New Jersey workplace retaliation lawyer, you may have a winning retaliation case.
A recent retaliation case from outside New Jersey is a very good illustration regarding how an employer’s double standards and inconsistent application of discipline can work to undermine its defense.
The worker in the case was an employee at an aluminum manufacturing facility in West Virginia. In 2013, management at the facility changed the overtime policy. Under the new policy, workers interested in working overtime shifts had to sign up on a board.