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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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How can an employer terminate one employee for workplace violence

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How can an employer terminate one employee for workplace violence (I called a fellow employee a loser and she called me gay) yet another employee was suspended and is still employeed. I had no knowledge I was being investigated until the conclusion of the interview. The following Monday I was terminated without giving me the ability to respond to the claim. The employee who complained called me 'gay' at the same time I called her 'loser' yet she was placed on administrative leave. My department head nor my division director had no knowledge of the incident yet I was terminated
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

How long ago did this take place?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

On May 16, 2013 I was interviewed not knowing why. I was terminated on May 20, 2013.

Thank you for your follow-up, Anthony.

But just to be clear, you are not denying that this potential altercation took place, correct? And the employer has your admission on file?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes it was in a joking manner and the other employee was calling me gay spraying me with a water hose and joking around, but she never brought it up in her interview. I did not know about her complaining about me and when I brought up the fact she called me gay the HR interviewer never asked anyone else if they heard it. The employee was also found to have lied in one of her complaints.

Thank you for your follow-up, Anthony.

The answer I am going to provide is likely not going to be favorable to you, so I ask you to not blame the proverbial messenger.

An employer, legally, is under no obligation to believe one person over the other, or treat individuals similarly. An employer can engage in 'selective enforcement' and directly make a judgment call, right or wrong, pertaining to a situation since they are not the courts. There is no due process when an employer conducts an investigation.

Having said that, an employer cannot discriminate based on factors outlawed by state or federal guidelines--an employer cannot adversely treat those based on age, gender, race, religion, national origin, creed, or disability if any. But beyond that an employer can, right or wrong, take one employee's side over the other.

Here, you admitted to the altercation and that permits the employer to make a determination against you. I agree that they could have terminated along with you but they did not have to do so. Unless you can point to their decision being made due to other facts that I listed, it is not something that you can directly contest.

Good luck.

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