Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
he first thing you need to be aware of is that Kentucky, like most states, is an employment at will state - meaning you can be disciplined or terminated for any reason that is not otherwise a violation of law. These exceptions are the civil rights protections (e.g., age, race, sex, religion), violations of public policy (e.g., fired for attending jury duty, for refusing to break the law, for reporting illegal activity by the employer (aka a "whistleblower violation"), or having some contractual right to a just cause employment (meaning the employer cannot terminate you without industrial due process - which basically insures a fair and accurate investigation and decision). Without any of these exceptions, courts find that the employer has a legitimate business right to operate its business however it sees fit and the court will not second-guess the employer. These policies and decisions may in fact be awful and clearly not fair or even make good business sense. However, they are not ultimately unlawful.
In your case, you state that they replaced you with a younger male employee. If you are over 40 or a woman, you have possible charges of employment discrimination; gender and age discrimination. In order to bring such a charge - you need to allege and prove that a reason for your termination was your gender and age and the employer has no legitimate non-discriminatory reason for your termination otherwise. The othher fact you bring uo is that you believe they just used you to get the department functioning, then dumped you. This would be a violation of good faith and fair dealing, but most states now, including Kentucky, find that employment "at will" overrides the duty of good faith and fair dealing in the employment relationship. Lastly, you are entitled to unemployment compensation because you were terminated without cause.
Your two weeks severance does not, from the detail provided in your question, provide that you waive claims against the employer. Thus you could wait until you get that payment, then go file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can learn how and where to file a charge at the EEOC's website here.
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