Is it illegal for an employerto open a position outside the company without first offering it to qualified employees?

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Is it illegal for an employerto open a position outside the company without first offering it to qualified employees?

I was told by a friend who works in HR that it was illegal. I had spoken to my manager, and he told me that they, “weren’t aware I was interested”. However, he told me to put in my application, so I did. He has told me numerous times since then that they would like to sit down with me for an interview. Approximately 2 weeks ago, I was training a new co-worker who informed me that she was the new banquet captain, and she has less experience than I have. And since then my manager still keeps telling me that he would like to interview me for the position.

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you may not have too many rights/options here.  It is not illegal to open up positions to outsiders without first offering them to existing employees.  In most states employment relationships are what is known as "at will", including CT.  What this means is that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever. It can also increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  YAn employeein turn can work for an employer or not, their choice. 

However, there are exceptions.  For example, a stated company policy contrary to this or a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action.  Additionally, if this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin).  Absent any of the foregoing, your employer's action does not violate the law.


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