What to do if I got laid off however other employee who are in similar position didn’t get laid off and I have more seniority?

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What to do if I got laid off however other employee who are in similar position didn’t get laid off and I have more seniority?

I just recently got laid off due to budget reductions. However several months before the layoff, an junior employee was re-hire (after she got laid off) to help me with my job duties. My manager start giving her my job duties so I can focus on different project that needed help. Moreover, another employee was about to lose her job and was moved to our department. They start finding work for her to do so they won’t lay her off. Too make story short, last week I got my lay off notice. These 2 employee (who got some of my job duties) now keeping their jobs. I had more seniority.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not respect seniority: that is, there is nothing in the law requiring that a more junior employee be laid off before a more senior one. If you have a contract, including a union agreement, protecting your job or giving you rights based on seniority, that is different--such terms are  enforceable. But without a contract, an employer may elect to lay off more senior staff.

Note though that the law does make it illegal to discriminate against employees over age 40. That does not mean that an older employee cannot be fired--just that he or she can't be fired simply because he or  she is older. If you are over 40 and the employees who were kept are under 40, and there is no other evident reason (based on education, credentials, performance, etc.) for the reason that you, not they, were laid off, that could possibly represent age-related discrimination; it would be worthwhile for you to review the situation with an employment law attorney.


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