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I worked at a company for over a year and resigned a few months ago as I was moving to another city. I gave a two month notice and left in good terms with everyone in the company. The manager at the time told me that I would be able to get my job back if/when I returned.

I am now returning and I saw that the company I was with is hiring for my position. I contacted a coworker but I was informed that the manager had left and that that coworker was now the manager. I asked about the available positions and was told that they were not hiring for my position because they didn't need anyone to take on any more hours. I keep seeing new job postings for my position, even days after the conversation, so it looks like they're keeping the job from me.

There's not a valid reason for me not to get the job back, but that's not even the problem. The problem is that I am being told, flat out, that they are not hiring for my position. I have been trying to find out what my options are, and see if I can find any information from other people with a similar problem, but I have not seen anything, not even in Workplace.SE, so I figured I would ask.

Is there anything I can do at all? Is it illegal? Do I have any legal recourse here, or any way to try and get the job (even if the one manager doesn't want me back, I'd still like to have the job as I have good rapport with the entire team)?

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    What's your goal here? It's hard to give an answer without knowing your goal or desired outcome is. Are you wondering if you can take legal action? Or just a feeling of "yeah, employer is lying to me!" ? – enderland Oct 7 '15 at 23:43
  • @JoeStrazzere That might be the reason, even though I did leave on good terms with everyone (or so I thought). – Anon Oct 7 '15 at 23:48
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    Can't you just apply through the normal channels and see what happens? – Jane S Oct 7 '15 at 23:52
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    Maybe the "co-worker, that is now the "manager" didnt particularly like you or had some type of issue with you and always kept it concealed. – LOSTinNEWYORK Oct 9 '15 at 4:17
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    Why would you want to work for a company that clearly doesnt want you? Even if you could force them to hire you (you cant), they would fire you at the first legal opportunity. – Keltari Oct 10 '15 at 0:04
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Is there anything I can do at all? Is it illegal? Do I have any legal recourse here, or any way to try and get the job (even if the one manager doesn't want me back, I'd still like to have the job as I have good rapport with the entire team)?

Note: I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television. Consult a local attorney if you want a real answer to the state of the legalities here, as there are far too many factors (locale, written promises, all the details of the circumstances, etc, etc) for anyone here to guess.

There's very likely little you could do that would lead you to getting the job if the hiring manager doesn't want you (and that's the signal your former co-worker appears to be sending, in a kind way). If getting the job isn't your actual goal, then talk with your attorney.

You could formally apply for the position you see posted. It's possible the posts are for similar positions, but not for "your position".

But if they don't want you, then they don't need to bring you in for an interview or respond to your application. Even if somehow you could legally force them to interview you, it would be hard to imagine that you could force them to hire you, rather than hire someone else.

An exception to this would be if you are in a union. If so, consult your union rep for advice on how to proceed formally.

I strongly suspect that your best bet here is to simply find a different job and move on.

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    Thanks Joe, I think you're right. The whole situation doesn't sit well with me, and I was hoping that there might be some sort of legal issue with this matter. Like you said though, it wouldn't be possible to force them to hire me, even if I was able to get an interview again. – Anon Oct 8 '15 at 0:05
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Is there anything I can do at all?

Short of re-applying via normal channels, no. The fact that the new hiring manager said they were not hiring was likely a non-confrontational way to convey you won't be getting your old job back.

You need to focus on finding a new job, probably at another company. First, reach out to your boss and see what he's doing (and get a recommendation). I'd also suggest reaching out to old co-workers for job leads. Tell them the "we're not hiring right now" line and see what the reaction is, you may find out the real story.

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You don't say how big the company is, but could it be hiring positions that are not related to your former colleague's responsibility and which he doesn't know about? This would be far from the first time that had happened.

It's also far from unusual for a business still to be posting job adverts even when it is not hiring. Reasons can include wanting to keep resumes on file for when they are hiring, being willing to make a position for an exceptional applicant, paid for the ads months in advance, or the old favourite of HR not knowing what everyone else is doing.

Another possibility is that they are looking for people willing to relocate.

Finally there is the possibility that your former colleague and new manager doesn't want to hire you and doesn't want to tell you that. Only you know if that is a genuine possibility.

  • Another option for running fake adverts is inflating the value of the business/company. – Rui F Ribeiro Sep 13 '18 at 20:02

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