Stevensville, MI asked in Employment Law for Michigan

Q: My friend recently was forced to resign because they said either get terminated or resign.

The letter they gave them said they were considering termination because they used 5 of the sick days they gave them to use and that that they were late on multiple times. I understand being late can result in being fired but mostly everyone that works in that building comes in late every day. Not too late 1 to 5 minutes. But only my friend was being picked on and monitored because they didn’t like them. I looked online and read a thing about how rules not regularly in-forced could be a case of unlawful termination or resigning. Could my friend monitor or ask them to monitor everyone else and there times they come in to prove that they were being unfairly treated.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Consider some maxims here: 1) when you're in the doghouse, it's not the time to bark. 2) pointing out the splinter in someone else's eye does not remove your own.

Your friend is obviously on someone's radar in the wrong way. Why would he or she want to remain working there? Assuming your friend's employment is not subject to a contract or union, it is at-will: at any time, the employer may fire the employee for any or no reason other than for legally protected statuses (e.g. race, gender, etc.). Similarly, an employee, at any time, can tell the employer "I quit".

It matters not what other people are doing unless you can show the employer is engaging in a pattern of discrimination. A "pattern" involves more than one person or situation over a course of time. If your friend has been late multiple times, that's enough - regardless of how many other people are later - unless it can be shown that of all the people late, only white people, old people, or men, etc. get fired for it. If your friend is just the odd duck here, there may be very little relief other than to conduct him or herself above reproach.

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