Layoff as subterfuge?

My manager laid me off saying that my job had to be eliminated, but then turns around and hires two more people with the same job title I had. Is there any legal action I can take?

Posted  08-05-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

At the outset, I assume you are in a private sector, non-union job. If so, then there probably isn’t going to be anything you can do about it. Employment at will means that your boss can fire someone any time, for any reason or even no reason at all, so long as they don’t do it for an illegal reason. I know it doesn’t sound fair, or right, but since managers don’t have to have a good reason, they are free to say nothing at all, or even to give a false reason. That being said, if you have any information that the true reason might have been an illegal one, such as race, national origin, disability, age, gender or some other statutorily protected characteristic, or in retaliation for whistle-blowing, then you might have a case. Lying in such a situation could be circumstantial evidence of an illegal motivation. If you think that might be the case, you should consult with an employment attorney.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.