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Can different standards apply to different employees Federal

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  • Can different standards apply to different employees Federal

    Can employers apply different standards to different employees? If two full-time employees of equal title are both consistently late to work, can the employer fire just one of them? I'm guessing yes because everything seems to favor the employer!

    Another hypothetical, could an employer institute a policy that says if any employee is late, he/she will be paid minimum wage for that entire day? If that is allowed, would it have to apply to everyone, or could he single out one person and say that?

    Just curious.
    Last edited by tommyd; 07-01-2006, 04:17 PM.

  • #2
    1. Yes, as long as the different treatment is not based solely upon a protected characteristic, such as race, age, gender, etc., or as retaliation for reporting sexual harrassment or a violation of law to the applicable government authority.

    2. Yes, the employer could do that and, yes, as long as the conditions in #1 don't apply.
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    • #3
      1.) Just for some clarifying information, the reason the answer is yes, is that the law permits the employer to take circumstances into consideration. For example, if one employee has worked there for 20 years and the other only six months, the employer may want to give the employee with a 20 year record a warning instead of firing. Or if the employer knows that one of the two has a disabled child that needs to be dropped off at school, he might let that employee work on a more flexible schedule. There are also ADA accomodations and FMLA considerations to keep in mind.

      In fact, when you consider all the various possibilities, my own opinion is that a law requiring all employees to be treated exactly alike no matter what the circumstances, would be most unfair.

      2.) If only one person was consistantly late but for some reason the employer didn't want to fire him, this might be the most effective method of getting the employee to change his ways. Why penalize those who are only late once in a while, for the actions of one person?
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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