Are there any laws in place against the promotion of a c-oworker who is less-qualified than another for an internal opening?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Are there any laws in place against the promotion of a c-oworker who is less-qualified than another for an internal opening?

A position recently opened up at my place of work. Before the position was posted on the company’s internal jobs site, a co-worker both less experienced in accomplishments, title, and experience was tasked by the department manager to document the responsibilities of the position. For the past 2 weeks the coworker has abandoned his previous role, and assumed the responsibilities of the new position without being formally hired as of yet. I feel he has been gifted an advantage over other applicants. I expressed my concern to the department manager a week ago. Are any legalities being ignored?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, employers are free to decide whom to promote, and are free to promote less experienced or less qualified individuals over more experienced or more qualified ones; the law does not, for example, recognize or value seniority, unless there is some employment contract or collective bargaining/union agreement which requires that seniority or experience be taken into account. Therefore, except as below, this is legal.

The exception to the legality of this situation would be if the co-worker is being favored for a discriminatory reason. That is, if he is being promoted to favor his due to, for example, his race, sex, religion, because he under 40, or because of his disability status--or conversely, other employees are not being considered for the job because of their race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability--that would be illegal. But if this person is being promoted for any non-discriminatory reason--including, for example, simply that management likes him better--that is legal.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption