Can an employer lay me off “due to financial reasons”, then hire a replacement after 60 days without calling me back?

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Can an employer lay me off “due to financial reasons”, then hire a replacement after 60 days without calling me back?

I was laid off (at the same time as a highly skilled technician) and received a letter stating it was due to financial reasons. The letter also stated it was not due to my performance. I have been since replaced by a friend of the owners, and I have not been called back to work. The friend of the owners was already employed as a general laborer, and I had a fixed position with a written job description (I even wrote it myself). The family friend was moved into my position, and a replacement was hired for his old spot.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have an employment contract, you could be fired at any time for any reason which is not illegal discrimination (e.g. against you due to your race, religion, age over 40, sex, disability). The employer does not need to tell you why you were fired, and if they choose to give you a reason, may lie about it--so they can say you are being let go for financial reasons, while really, they wanted to replace you with a family friend. What you describe is unfair, but it is both common and legal.


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