The Law at Work: Is firing an in-law marital discrimination?
You are CEO of a company. A woman you know well calls to inform you that her husband, an at-will company employee for over 20 years, has a gun and has told her that he is angry at his co-workers. Without investigating the woman’s claims, you put the employee on paid administrative leave. Based on your review of a restraining order the woman obtained against her husband—whom you are aware she is in the process of divorcing—you soon thereafter fire the employee.
The twist: the caller is your daughter, making the worker you just fired your son-in-law. Did you commit unlawful discrimination “because of marital status” by firing him? In his The Law at Work column in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Shareholder Dan Eaton examines the Court of Appeal’s answer to this question in a recent ruling.
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