Illegal termination ?

Approx. 1 month ago was terminated from
employment..."Due to reorganization within XXX,
the position held by Mr. "X" is no longer
essential and has been eliminated".
It now turns out that a "downsized" (his
old position eliminated)VP has been given
my old position.
Is something legally wrong with this
picture ????
FYI - corp. is MA-based; I live in NY
Thank you

1 answer  |  asked Sep 15, 2002 2:37 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Reason for Termination

You query lacks sufficient information to permit any kind of intelligent answer.

To provide an extremely general answer, first we would have to determine whether Massachusetts or New York Law applies. I am a New York attorney, and I am not familiar with Massachusetts law. If Massachuessets law applies, the answer could be very different than the answer I am about to give.

If we assume New York applies, or that New York and Massachuesetts law is the same, the general answer would begin with the employment at will doctrine, which basically says you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, unless it is a reason made illegal, usually by statute. So, unless we can find an exception, there is nothing illegal about your employer telling you your job has been eliminated then filling that same job with someone else who was supposedly eliminated.

There are lots of exceptions to the employment at will doctrine. It would be impossible for me to say which applies without knowing a lot more about your case. But the one that comes immediately to mind by the way you've posed your query is the exception for discrimination.

Now understand that not all forms of discrimination are illegal. Discrimination is illegal only if it is motivated by things like race, age, sex, etc. There are actually many forms of illegal discrimination, some of which would not seem immendiately obvious. In any case, if you believe you are a victim of illegal discrimination, that is not obvious from your query.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Sep 16, 2002 11:04 AM [EST]

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