Can an at will employee sue employer for discrimination

Asked over 5 years ago - Boston, MA

I was employed by a company in Feb 08. I started as a consultant under a staff agency. In June 08 the company created a staff accountant position which did not exist before specifically for me. I was then employed full time by the company and no longer under agency. In September 08, our CFO left the company and his personal assistant had no job. She was then transferred to my functions and i was told we are now two staff accountants. In November, i was then laid off on the basis of viability issues. I was the only black guy at the company. I am qualified for the job and on the last stages of my MBA online program. The lady remained and took over my position. Can i sue the company for discrimination with a "at will contract:?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Djuna E Perkins

    Contributor Level 8

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . You can sue your employer for discrimination regardless of whether you are employed "at will" or on a contractual basis. The real question is whether the employer laid you off because of your race. If it was for some other reason, it's not discrimination. However, it can be difficult for employers to successfully argue it wasn't discrimination if the person who remained on the job was not as qualified as you, or earned more than you, etc. You should consult with an attorney who will ask you detailed questions about your circumstances and help you decide the best course of action.

  2. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel

    Contributor Level 17

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Without commenting on whether you have a claim for illegal employment discrimination, the answer to your question is yes.

  3. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . An employee without a union or employment contract is an employee at will and can be fired for no cause at all. If discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion etc... is the basis for your firing, you may have recourse.

    Good luck to you.

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