Are there any legal grounds for an employee being looked over for a position that the employee is duly qualified for?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are there any legal grounds for an employee being looked over for a position that the employee is duly qualified for?

The company I work for has a position open that I have done in the past when others have quit, but the last two times the position has come available I have applied. The first time I interviewed they selected someone else. This time I was not even given the opportunity for an interview. Four others add their names to the list, each of them were scheduled an interview, each of them are less qualified than I. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Is your treatment the result of any form of legally actionable discrimination? In other words, do you think that your not being considered for this position is due to your race, religion, age (over 40), disability, nationality, gender, etc.? Or does your company's action violate the terms of any exisiting union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract? If not, then while seemingy unfair, your not being considered for this position is perfectly permissable under the law. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes who to promote or not promote. For your part,you can either accept your employer's decision, continue to complain and risk termination, or quit.

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 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.

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