Can I be denied the ability to apply for a job by an employer?

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Can I be denied the ability to apply for a job by an employer?

I work for a department who is being outsourced to another company. In a meeting with the new company and my current employer the discussion got heated and I was told “if you don’t like it there’s the door” so I walked out. I was later told if I came in they would consider my application. When I came back, after apologizing for my actions, I asked politely if I could have an application. The new hiring manager flat out said “no”. is that illegal? Does that violate equal opportunity? I know I won’t get the job but outright refusal of an application, can they do that?

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As long as they are not refusing you the right to apply based on your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability (under federal law; your state may add a few more protected categories, such as sexual orientation or national origin), it is legal. An employer, so long as they are not illegally discriminating against those specifically protected categories, is free to decide whom to consider for a job. In a case like this, where you exchanged heated words and effectively quit, the employer would no doubt be justified in not accepting your application.


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