What to do if I was temporarily laid off from a position due to “business needs”, however instead of calling me back they hired a new employee?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I was temporarily laid off from a position due to “business needs”, however instead of calling me back they hired a new employee?

I have been getting calls from co-workers who are still employed at this company and they’ve told me I was fired. My boss told me it was a temporary lay off until business picked up. I am the only African-American at this place of business and was replaced by someone Caucasian. I feel discriminated against because I was the only one laid off and instead of calling me back they hired someone new.

Asked on June 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer does not have to tell an employer the true reason(s) for termination, and could therefore claim to lay someone off for business reasons  (such as to spare his/her feelings) while then immediately replacing him/her.

However, employers may not discriminate against a person on the basis of his/her race; and they may not discriminate just by claiming a non-discriminatory reason. Rather, if there is a racial discrimination complaint (such as to the EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency) or a racial discrimination lawsuit, the agency and/or the courts will look to the totality of the circumstances, to see if under the facts of the situation, it appears that this was actually racial discrimination.

From what you write, it may have been racial discrimination: the claim of business reasons is undercut by hiring a replacement; replacing the only African American employee with a caucasion one always looks suspect. It would be worthwhile for you to file a complaint and/or consult 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption