Can an employee be disciplined twice for the same incident by separating the alleged rule violations? Notices included same date and time of alleged offense and submitted evidence had identical date/time stamps on video evidence. It enabled company to elevate applied level of discipline and accelerate termination.

Can an associate be disciplined more severely than colleagues with similar infractions?

Rita Risser Chai Responds:

It is generally legal for an employer to treat a single incident as multiple infractions if multiple rules were violated, unless a union contract or other employment agreement provides otherwise. It is illegal to discipline associates differently if, and only if, the reason for the different treatment is because of race, sex, age, disability, ethnic origin, religion, or any other protected classification under state or federal law. However, the employer certainly is allowed to consider all factors in determining discipline. For example, an employee with excellent performance over a long period time with one infraction may be treated better than a new employee with poor performance and the same infraction.

Posted 04-11-2017

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.