How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11290
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
60109343
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was fired yesterday at my job at a restaurant. I was a

Customer Question

I was fired yesterday at my job at a restaurant. I was a cook there. I am the only colored guy in the kitchen at this restaurant. When I was fired my managers wouldn't give me a reason or even look in me in the eye. We have write up sheets and you have to sign them and go over it with a manager acknowledging that it won't happen again. They are firing me for some of those things but some of those slips aren't even signed by me. I was never talked to about the issue but yet they are firing me over it anyways. What should I do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Do you have any reason to believe that this is happening to you because of your race? If so, what leads you to believe that is the case? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The only reason why I believe it is because of my race is because I am the only colored person and was only there for a couple months. I was wrongfully terminated
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They didn't have a real reason to fire me and the they are firing me off of papers I didn't sign
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you.

As a general rule, employment in the state of Michigan is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true. This means you can be terminated with a "real" reason. It also means you can be terminated for violations you didn't sign off on.

The only way you would have any legal claim is if you could prove that you were fired because of your race. However, this generally requires more than simply the fact that you are the only minority. Indeed, if that were all you needed, then ANY employment action against you that you did not approve of would be actionable on grounds of race discrimination. It's your employer's motivation that matters, and you can't prove motivation simply by the fact that there are no other minorities. Motivation is typically proven by things such as derogatory comments about your race, racial jokes, patterns of more favorable treatment to employees of other races (i.e. did your employer fail to write up white employees for the same violations that you were written up for?) Ultimately, the question is whether you can convince a jury, using all facts circumstances and arguments available, that "but for" your race you would not have been fired.

If you believe that you have facts suggestive of race discrimination, your recourse would be to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution with your employer. That not forthcoming, they will either file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue you a "right to sue" letter, which will enable you to sue in civil court with the assistance of an attorney. Again, though, if you do not believe you have evidence of race discrimination then I am afraid you would not have any recourse, despite the fact that your termination was clearly unfair and unfounded.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Was I able to answer your question?