Do I have any recourse if a former employer offers another employee a flexible work schedule after refusing my request for such a schedule?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have any recourse if a former employer offers another employee a flexible work schedule after refusing my request for such a schedule?

I have recently left my job after nearly 20 years with the same company, of which I was in the same department and role for nearly 17 years. Prior to tendering my resignation, I requested a flexible work schedule. The company had recently communicated that this was something that was being supported in positions with the flexibility to do so. I was an individual contributor, provided 24×7 on call support and had an at home office set up provided by the company. Additionally, the company supported virtual working and meetings. I had previously submitted three different proposals for a flexible work from home schedule that would benefit the entire team and not just an individual. My manager declined to consider the options. Please note that prior to my resignation, my manager had on more than one occasion made ageist remarks to me regarding how much longer would I be working for the company and when was I going to retire. I am 54 years old. He is in his mid-30’s. When asked for the reason for my resignation I provided my employer with 2 reasons: there were no current promotional opportunities I was informed of this prior to my resignation by my manager and there was no consideration or support for a flexible work schedule/work from home arrangement and my commute was impacting my health and work/life balance. A week after I submitted my resignation, a co-worker also submitted her resignation. She has informed me that my former manager has offered her the opportunity to work from home if she would consider staying on. My co-worker is in her early 40’s.

Asked on July 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, not being offered a remote from home job opportunity, is not in and of itself illegal. That is unless such an action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit, unless doing so consitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. Here is where you may have a claim. If you were not offered remote work based solely on your age, and not your job performance, then you can file suit for age discrimination. At this point, you can consult directly with a local attorney or you can file a claim with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opprunity Commission). 

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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