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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18813
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was recently fired from the Home Depot. I worked Depot

Customer Question

I was recently fired from the Home Depot. I worked for Home Depot over five years as a cashier and a returns cashier. I was consistently paid less than other employees based on my job title. The final straw came when Home Depot decieded to give a company wide wage increase. First to $10 and hour and most recently to $11 dollars an hour. I was given both increases. My problem came from the fact that in this process I lost 5 yearly raises I had earned. These raises were not added back into my pay, so essentially I was making new hire / walk in wage after working for this company for 5 years. I felt wronged and eventually my anger boiled over and I was fired for violation of company ethics which involved me using profanity. I have been paid less than people doing the same job at the service desk for years simply because of my job title "Cashier". I performed all of the same services as these other "service desk" associates except for one task, which they title "open sold for change" That is how they justified it. But feeling wronged about my 5 years of raises disappearing into their recent wage increase was what really set this all in motion and led to my recent termination. They fired me on 06/03/2016. I feel this is unfair practice. As an aside when they fire you you lose your vacation pay, so I lost 80 hours of vacation pay too. Thank your for your consideration.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

In employment law, there is no requirement to pay equally among employees based on job title. So, the fact that you were not making as much as others, alone, is not an illegal action. You'd need some evidence showing that the employer made the decision to pay you less based on your race, religion, gender, age (over 40) or disability.

Even if you could show that, you have an additional problem here. You were terminated for violating company policy. Yes, I know this was based on your feeling that you were facing an injustice and it may certainly be morally justified, but legally it is not. I had a case where a deaf person was being absolutely discriminated against for being deaf. He, understandably, responded in rage and the court held that his rage acted as an intervening cause which justified his termination. He was only able to prove discrimination within the workplace, but not wrongful termination, and it severely hindered his claim. This concept of intervening cause is federal law, so it will apply in your case too.

So, if you believe you have evidence to show discrimination in your pay, you could get some back pay, but your termination will be considered legal based on the intervening cause of your outburst.

If you want to file that potential discrimination claim, contact the EEOC in your state. However, if you can't allege discrimination based on one of the factors I mentioned, you won't have a claim. It is not illegal to generally treat people differently...just based on those specific factors.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the fact that they did not add my 5 years of raises back in which left me making walk in wage is not considered unfair employment practices?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How can they take my vacation pay which I earned is this legal?

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