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I have been given written disciplinary action for taking…

Customer Question
I have been given...

I have been given written disciplinary action for taking sick time off. I am a part time employee in AZ so I do not qualify for FMLA, and I was given no alternatives before I was written up. What are my rights? Can I fight it? This has prevented me from receiving a pay increase and I am understandably upset.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will, I believe

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/8/2017
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 9 months ago
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. Did you have some sort of policy that would have allowed you to take sick time off that they're violating by their actions?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Policy does allow for time off, but since I am part time there is nothing in effect that allowed me to take extended periods of time off like FMLA does. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the policy that specifically outlines exact numbers of days for time off.
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

That's true, unfortunately. I am sorry to hear about your situation. First of all, you need to understand that Arizona is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

So if there's no employment policy that you can point to that is being violated, and you're not being targeted based upon your race, age, religion, gender, or disability, I'm sorry to say that this is legal. Unethical, immoral, illogical, maybe. But still legal. That's the nature of the at-will employment doctrine.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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