If a third party takes over your shop and rehires you, is it legal to loose some seniority rights?

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2011

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If a third party takes over your shop and rehires you, is it legal to loose some seniority rights?

My shop is being taken over by a third party; 10 of us out of 3000 employees are being outsourced. The current employer is still there. The third employee is rehiring everyone with our years of service. I have 8 years I will acrue vacation with new company at 8 years. I will be on 6 months probation, lose all vacation and sick time, will not qualify for short term disablity for 90 days. They have a cash balance retirement will contribute as anew hire and not 8 years vested. Are we prtected; is a company allowed to do this? If not, what options do we have?

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first critical question is whether you have an employment contract? This could be either an individual employment contract or agreement between you and the employer, or a union or collective bargaining agreement which covers your position. If you have either type of contract, then its terms and conditions as they apply to benefits, seniority, etc. are enforceable--if they apply to the new, third party. A union agreement would almost certainly apply under the circumstances you indicate; however, an individual contract would only apply if the third party bought the LLC or corporation of your former owner, not if they only bought the assets.

If you do not have an applicable contract, then it is almost certain that you could be fired at will; and if rehired, the new employer may set all terms and conditions of employment, including ignoring previous benefits or seniority.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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