Rockford, MI asked in Employment Discrimination for Michigan

Q: An employer didn’t hire me because they said they didn’t think the job would be financially and emotionally fulfilling.

I previously worked for them for 10 years as their general manager running the business and left on good terms. They contacted me a year later out of the blue and asked if I was interested in coming back for a specific position and I was the only person they were asking about the position. Made me wait two weeks after we spoke, where I said I was interested in coming back and then turned me down. Can they say they won’t hire me because they don’t think the job would be emotionally and financially fulfilling?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
Answered
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: An employer is generally free to make hiring and firing decisions for any reason other than for protected status reasons (e.g. race and gender).

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: There's simply not enough information and you may never be confident that you know the 'real' reason.

While an employer is prohibited from discriminating against a person of a protected class, I think in your case it would be incredibly difficult to make a case for discrimination, since they already know who you are. And without a discrimination claim, or definitive money damages, it's going to be hard to say there would be any cause of action to sue.

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson
Answered

A: Legally, they can decide not to hire you because they don’t believe the job will be emotionally and financially fulfilling. If you suspect that this is not the “real reason” they did not offer you the job, look for evidence that may support your hunch. If you are a member of a protected class against whom discrimination is illegal (race, religion, age, gender, sexual identity, national origin, etc.), discriminatory motives are possibly at play here. This may be difficult to prove however, since they had hired you previously and they know you well. But if you find out that they hired someone for this position who is much younger for instance, you may have an age discrimination claim. Contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case.

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