Q: Is it legal for a company to furlough employees, then hire new employees the next day?
My company has not reached out to furloughed employees to return to their position, but have instead filled their position with new hires. By hiring these new employees, older employees continue to lose hours or are told they may be furloughed as well.
A: It is not very commonly understood, but furloughing and employee and terminating them are pretty much the same thing. There is no duty to return a furloughed employee back to work at any time, and the employer can simply decide to hire someone else in the place of the furloughed employee.
Unless you can prove you were let go in this manner because of your membership in a protected class of people or because you had engaged in some kind of legally protected conduct, there is likely no recourse for you.
Good luck to you.
A: Your use of the word "older" rings a bell for me. If the furloughed workers (FW) are over 40 and the new hires are substantially younger, then the FW are subject to the protection of the anti-Age Discrimination statutes. This could even be a class action. You just need to be sure that you have a big pocket to pay for the damages that you will all be incurring. Meanwhile, you should apply for unemployment ins benefits. You need to consult with an Employee's rights attorney in your area.
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