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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5618
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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There, I work at a restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA.

Customer Question

Hi there,
I work at a restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA. I had worked at this same restaurant two years ago and had been a manager at that time. Since I've been back I've been waiting tables, but ever since my first day, the owner has been talking to me about being his bar manager. One week ago we finally sat down and discussed it seriously. He told me that the job was mine, and that I would be paid $600/week for the position. Then yesterday, he sent me a text message saying that he decided to give the job to someone else (a man who has significantly less experience than me who started working at the restaurant two weeks ago). I replied that I was hugely disappointed as I had been told the position was already mine and was counting on the salary that we had agreed on. I expressed that I needed the evening off from work so that I could collect myself after such a huge shock. He never responded to me in any way, and today when the schedule came out, every shift next to my name said "T/O" which stands for requested time off. I did not request any time off at all. I have tried calling him, texting him and e-mailing him and have received no response. I need to know if I had any legal rights here.
Thank you so much for your time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Unless you had a contract for a specific period of time (e.g., you'd be bar manager for 3 years), then you do not have a claim to the position contractually speaking. This is because employment in V.A. is considered to be at will, and you could be terminated at any time without cause.
You could make a claim that the position was given to the less experienced male for reason of gender discrimination. You have what is called an indirect evidence claim for discrimination. meaning you can show that you were qualified and were not selected in favor in someone of the opposite gender. The employer then would have to show a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for your not being hired. The retaliation element of this - i.e., your not being put on the schedule because you complained about the non-hire, is part of your damages for the claim.
You may want to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC". )The EEOC would investigate the workplace at no charge to you and make a determination of whether discrimination occurred. If the EEOC finds discrimination, they attempt to work out a resolution or, if a resolution cannot be reached, they'll either sue the employer or allow you to sue them in federal court. Lastly, your employer cannot legally discipline or discharge you for filing with the EEOC. If this sounds like something you're interested in, you can learn how and where to file a charge with them here:
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