About a year ago, I was laid off from the university I worked for, after the division I was in was cut due to the director's departure. Since then, I have applied for many jobs there, and never even get rejection letters. Once I did get a phone interview that went very well, but I never heard anything. After a couple of weeks, I emailed both the assistant who interviewed me and the project PI, but neither got back. After two more weeks, I left phone messages, and still nothing.
A couple of months ago, I called the person who was my previous director's boss and asked if there was any kind of reason this might be happening. He said he checked my HR record and saw only good evaluations.
A few weeks ago, I directly contacted a PI about a posted position and was called in for an interview. Over a week ago, I received an email from the PI that my references had great things to say about me, and they were working with HR to write me an offer. After a week went by, I politely pinged - two days have passed since then and I've heard nothing.
It seems like even when someone at the university wants to hire me, they run into a hitch with HR that they won't even respond about. I'm very concerned that there is some skull-and-crossbones symbol or red alarm buzzer that turns on when HR types my name into the system.
I've considered contacting HR directly, but then I also wonder if I should be consulting a lawyer first.
How can I find out if there is some kind of note on my HR record that says "forget this guy, and don't even respond?"