Seeking Legal Advice Re: Fair Treatment in the Workplace

Updated on April 29, 2008
K.K. asks from Ortonville, MI
5 answers

Hi -- I'm looking for legal advice regarding fair treatment in the workplace. I work in a large company, on a team where we have 90% women, 10% men. Many of the women, including myself, have young children or plan to in the near future. When our new director came on board, she hired 3 part-time employees -- 'working moms' she called them. This director and I had 3 or 4 conversations about career opportunities and advancement opportunities as she was building her team. Initially, she suggested that she would consider allowing me to go part time also. When the time came, she ended up offering me a promotion, but indicated that she was unable to give me the salary increase, and she was unwilling to discuss the part time option. It was take the promotion w/o the increase or leave it. I took it ( i was desperate to get into a new job...needed something to stay engaged and happy, and decided i would 'prove'myself). Fast forward 6 months and I find out that she's allowing a coworker to come back after her maternity leave on a part time basis. This coworker also gets first shot at any high-profile assignments (I've noticed the trend over the past year). I'm experiencing some unfair behavior on the part of my director, and I need to know if there is any legal action I can take. I've documented our conversations, and I also have some additional issues that contribute to this. If anyone has any input, please provide. Also, if anyone knows of an attorney I can talk to, please let me know. Again, this is only one quick snapshot out of a series of things over the course of a year.

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E.D.

answers from Detroit on

Are you in Michigan? I belong to a bunch of groups like this, but I'm not sure if this is local. If so, I can give you a name and number. You're better off emailing me at [email protected]____.com because I only check this site once a day.

Liz

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A.N.

answers from Detroit on

unfortunately i dont hear anything illegal. unfair definately. maybe you could make a list of your accomplishments on the job and present it to your boss's boss.

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C.E.

answers from Detroit on

Call the Employment Commission. When I had my first child my company wanted to put me on the assembly line when I returned from my maternity leave when I worked in the front office before I left. The day I told them, I called the Employment office and they took care of it. They would be able to tell you if you have a case or not. However if you do have a case you would also have to be willing to deal with the results and you will have to deal with attitudes at work. Most attorneys will give a free consultation also. I don't think this is something you would want to just sit on and deal with. The company is responisble to treat everyone the same.

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

Unless you feel your are being discriminated against because of your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability status, you probably don't have much of a legal case against your company (I'm actually in an MBA program and taking an HR management class so this comes directly from my text). Like a previous poster mentioned, it may be best to begin by talking to your director - present to her your case for why you deserve a chance at either the high profile assignments or at going part time. Or, even better, ask her what you need to do to qualify for these perks that you've inquired about and have seen others receive. If she dismisses your attempt, you can always try to talk to her superior but I would recommend being very careful if you decide to do that - it could cause even more trouble for you at work by going over your boss' head. But if you honestly feel you're being discriminated against, and you feel passionately about it, then it might bve worthwhile for you.

Best of luck.

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A.F.

answers from Detroit on

I am not an attorney, but my understanding is 'fair' treatment in the workplace is not a legal right unless you feel you are being discriminated against. There are certain groups of people that are protected. I think they are race, religion, gender, color, creed, disabled, etc. It sounds to me like it's time to have another chat with your boss. Make sure when you talk to her that you aren't just mentioning something casually, but that you've scheduled a time to talk privately. Also be sure to stay positive and smile. Stay humble. Good luck!

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