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fishwacker

unfair treatment

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I have worked as a scientist in a National Laboratory in Washington state for the past 15 years.  Our group includes the spouse of the program manager.  I was told that I will no longer be in the program starting next year, while his wife will be.  Being an at will state, I am unclear of what evidence I will need to file a law suit against the company for discrimination, which is what I believe occured.  If I obtain evidence from the funding agency that our program manager misrepresented my character or capabilities to make his wife look better in order to justify keeping her funded, would that constitute a strong legel case?

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Your post implies that you believe unlawful discrimination is involved, but your fact pattern doesn't fit. 

 

If your manager lied about you and you've been damaged by it, that would be either slander/defamation or libel and you'd discuss that with a civil litigation attorney who handles such cases.  I don't know how you'd get that evidence short of the discovery process unless you know someone in the funding agency who will hand it over. 

 

It's also unclear that there's anything to this beyond speculation on your part.  It may be that the funding agency would only give your lab $X and that that meant someone had to be cut.  Favoring the wife for a slot wouldn't be unlawful for a private employer to do and a public government employer might have a problem with it (then again, its civil service regs may give it the power to exempt or overlook X).  Whether it's against the lab's policies (and something they're willing to do something about, since they're free to make exceptions to their own policies) ... we can't know from here.

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I have worked as a scientist in a National Laboratory in Washington state for the past 15 years.  Our group includes the spouse of the program manager.  I was told that I will no longer be in the program starting next year, while his wife will be.  Being an at will state, I am unclear of what evidence I will need to file a law suit against the company for discrimination,

 

Consult an attorney who can tell you what evidence you will need.

 

 

 If I obtain evidence from the funding agency that our program manager misrepresented my character or capabilities to make his wife look better in order to justify keeping her funded, would that constitute a strong legal case?

 

Probably not.

 

Nepotism does not necessarily mean gender discrimination.

 

Look at it this way.

 

If you were a woman and the boss did something in favor of his wife's employment, there would be no illegal discrimination.

 

If your boss was a woman and she did something to favor her husband's employment, there would be no illegal discrimination.

 

So, I don't see anything to suggest that you are a victim of illegal gender discrimination given the scenario you describe.

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Being an at will state, I am unclear of what evidence I will need to file a law suit against the company for discrimination, which is what I believe occured.

 

The notion of at-will employment and discrimination have little to do with each other.  That said, I'm unsure what you're inquiring about here.  What evidence?  You want whatever evidence you can find, but it's not at all clear (a) on what basis you believe you were discriminated against, or (B) whether you understand that most discrimination is perfectly legal.  It is only illegal if it is based on things like race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.

 

 

 

If I obtain evidence from the funding agency that our program manager misrepresented my character or capabilities to make his wife look better in order to justify keeping her funded, would that constitute a strong legel case?

 

I don't know what you mean by "funding agency" or what connection that entity has to your employer.  If your boss made false statements of fact about you and, as a result, you were fired (which is what I assume "no longer in the program" means), you might have a case for defamation, but it would be against your boss, not your former employer, and it certainly wouldn't be a discrimination case.

 

I suggest you consult with a local attorney who handles employment matters for a review of all relevant facts and advice.

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