Thank you for your response.
In Arizona, as through the rest of the U.S., employment law
is heavily in favor towards the employer in almost all situations. The employee who does not have a written contract is called an At-Will employee. The employer is free to treat the At-Will employee in whatever manner it pleases, and to termiinate the At-Will employee for any reason (or no reason), as long as these actions do not violate the anti-discrimination
laws. The employer is prohibited from taking any sort of action which discriminates based on age, race, gender, religion, national origin, and/or disability. When the employer's actions are motivated by one of these prohibited reasons, the employee may bring a claim against the employer.
Further, the employee is not guaranteed any paid time off or paid sick leave, nor is an employer required to adjust work hours to accommodate an employee unless that employee is seeking to treat a serious medical condition or has a condition which requires accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
You could potentially argue that the conditions for which you were seeking treatment trigger protections under the FMLA
. The FMLA guarantees up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid time off from work to treat serious medical conditions. Arthritis and high blood pressure might under certain circumstances be considered serious enough to trigger your FMLA protections.
Further, the fact that an adverse employment action is being taken against you when the younger workers are given the same sort of consideration you were denied may trigger a claim under the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act.
The question you have lodged, however, is should you quit or let them terminate you. First of all, given the fact that you are an At-Will employee, they can terminate you for any reason, even an unfair one. You will have to prove through a claim that the reason was actually retaliatory. This is never a sure-fire win. Your case is potentially precarious because there is not direct evidence regarding the retaliation. It is only circumstantial given the proximity of your request and now the false job duty failure charge against you, and the age of the other employee vs. your age. Thus, it is in your best interests to avoid termination
here, since there is not a clear probability of victory for you should you file a discrimination claim.
This may mean going along with the "write up" but stating that you will not sign it because you do not agree with the findings, based on the fact that it is not in your job description
, nor in your job duties, to perform the task they said you failed to perform.
I think you feel that the age discrimination is the stronger claim that you have. Whether or not they terminate you for refusing to sign the "write up" you could file an EEOC
claim based on age discrimination. If they do not terminate you, then the filing of this claim would protect you through the anti-retaliation laws from being terminated during the investigation of the claim.
To file a claim with the EEOC, you must contact the local office and make an appointment to come in and fill out the claim paperwork. The EEOC office nearest you may be located at www.eeoc.gov/field/.
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