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?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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.

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