Can a person receive a promotion for a job specifically created for them without opening interviews within or outside of the company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a person receive a promotion for a job specifically created for them without opening interviews within or outside of the company?

A lady at my level was just promoted to a manager. She is great friends with the vp of operations. They hangout outside of work pretty often. This role was created specifically for her. No interviews were held, inside or outside of the company. In fact, no one else was made aware of the new opportunity until her promotion was announced. There are several people above her within the company. Many who are much more qualified for this created position. Like I said, her and I were at the same level, though she has been with the company for about a year longer, and I was not given any opportunity for this opening. There are other acts of favoritism but this has been the worse yet. This is a warehouse position that was made to prepare for audits. However, she doesn’t know the system super well and can’t work the machinery well, or work a stand up forklift at all. But this is a requirement for the role. Again, many are more qualified. I’m starting to feel like I won’t go anywhere with my company unless I’m friends with someone.

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Favoritism in the workplace is not illegal unless it has to due with some form of actionable discrimination. In other words, not all workers need be treated the same or even fairly unless the unfavorable treatment is due to race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, age (over 40), etc. Your only other claim here is if this action violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Otherwise, as an "at will" worker, your company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.

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 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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