Is there a time frame when employers have to offer you your job back after a lay off?

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Is there a time frame when employers have to offer you your job back after a lay off?

I was recently laid off from a large corporation stating that they were re-organizing the sales department and my job was eliminated. I just found out that they have now posted my exact position on-line for hire. It’s the exact same position, same title, same office, same department. Isn’t there a time frame when they have to offer me the job first? I was the last one hired in my department for this job, but I was also the highest paid.

Asked on November 9, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No unfortunately there is no such requirement under either state or federal law.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will"; meaning that you can choose to work for an employer or not and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While seemingly unfair it's the law.

The exceptions to this would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or official company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination; for example due to factors of age, race, religion, etc.  Absent any of these circumstance your employer's re-hiring practices do not violate the law.


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