Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in New York

my boss informed me to stop hiring people from the town I live in, because we are all lazy, dont appreciate our jobs & aren't good workers, I live in and was born and raised in that town, I told her i dont think I can legally not interview or not hire someone because of her opinion on them. I reported her to HR and now I feel she is trying to push me out of my position and get me fired. This has made me have panic attacks & being diagnosed with depression

Asked on 5/30/13, 2:21 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Haber Law Offices of Michael S. Haber
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First, it seems to me that your boss was, even prior to discussing with you her instructions for interviews, unhappy with your performance. That, of course, would not bode well for your continued employment. Beyond that, the big question is whether her instructions not to interview or hire someone from the town in which you live was a proxy for some sort of unlawful discrimination.

If, by way of illustration, you live in a town that has, say, a very large minority population, then her instructions to you may be, in effect, racial or national origin discrimination. Determining this may be a matter of some investigation and analysis.

If, on the other hand, your boss is simply prejudiced against people from that town for reasons thoroughly unrelated to such categories as race, age, disability, national origin, color, creed, or religion, then there may be little recourse for you.

It probably was unwise of you to have offered her your own legal advice (i.e., "I told her I don't think I can legally not interview or not hire someone because of her opinion on them").

You don't say what the basis is of the fact that you "feel she is trying to push me out of my position and get me fired."

Maybe it's time for a frank discussion with your boss. If you do ask her if you can speak with her, and she is amenable, my suggestion is that your meeting with her be outside of the workplace, that you not speak with her about your panic attacks and depression, and that you earnestly want to know what you can do to satisfy her with your work performance.

Good luck to you.

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5/30/13, 5:20 pm

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