If you are on a yearly contract and it is not renewed, is it illegal if your co-workers find out before you?

My position had 2 people. Boss notified us both due to budget cuts, he would interview us both. I was out sick for a week, and he did not interview us. Then a letter was sent to the staff with only the other person’s name on it. Other coworkers knew this before me too. My boss confirmed she had the job, not me. Can he do this if he said he would interview us and he told others before me that my contract wouldn’t be renewed?

Asked on March 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require that the employee whose contract is not being renewed find out before anyone else; nor does it prevent others from being told about his or her employment status, or force an employer to interview the employee (even if the employer had indicated there would be an interview) before deciding to not renew the contract. In short, what your employer did appears to be legal, even though it may well have been unprofessional; unfortunately, the law does not enforce courtesy and professionalism.

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