I came across your website this morning and I think it’s great! I have a very complicated question that I’m hoping you can help me with or at least point me in the right direction to get my answer. It’s a little complicated, but here it goes….
About two and a half years ago I worked for a big Corporation (we will call it XYZ). After six months of employment with them, they started doing lay offs. At that time, I went and sat down with my immediate supervisor, knowing I was the new kid on the block, we discussed my options of whether I should stay and try to weather the storm, or take a new opportunity that had just come my way. Because of the uncertainty of what was coming up, I decided to take the new opportunity, and he was very supportive of my decision. When I left, I left on good terms with an “eligible to be rehired” on my record.
Two years have gone by. I applied for a new position at XYZ. I got the first interview, and the hiring supervisor really liked me and felt I was a strong candidate for the job. I told him I had worked for this company up front and before going further in the recruiting process, he had my employee record pulled up to make sure I was re-hirable. When it came back that I was, he proceeded to have me come back for a second and third interview. I interviewed with his immediate supervisor, and they decided they want to hire me. But here’s the catch…. After all that, it seems that XYZ must have an internal policy that they do not rehire, and any rehires have to be sent to a panel for review to see if they will rehire or not, even if the hiring supervisor wants that person. Is it legal for them to have an internal policy like that without it being posted on their website somewhere? Can they do that without it being public notice to all potential candidates that apply? They do have the question on there about have you ever worked for them before, but no where does it state that they will not rehire even if the employee record stays that you can be.
Companies can have whatever policies they want to have as long as they don’t violate any laws. So a policy against rehiring people is perfectly legal. And why wouldn’t it be? Clearly if you’ve worked for them in the past, they aren’t discriminating against your race or gender. (I suppose you could argue that they are discriminating on the basis of age because you are now older, but I doubt it.) As long as the policy is applied to everyone, or they have clear exceptions that don’t violate laws they are good to go.
Policies can be created, implemented, removed, updated and turned on their heads 3 times a week if a company wants to. (Although they don’t because policy development takes more time than potty training and if you’ve ever done the latter you’ll appreciate the difficulties faced here.)
However, I would question why they interviewed you in the first place. Either the recruiter was an idiot (possible) or he was not informed of this policy (more likely) and the hiring manager wasn’t either, or someone is lying to you.
It’s a stupid lie. They do not have to rehire you. You weren’t even laid off so you can’t even argue you have callback rights. (Which you wouldn’t unless you were union, which I doubt you were.)
But, my advice? Forget about it. Go find another job. Companies do stupid things. Having a no rehire policy is one of those stupid things. It’s not illegal. It’s not even immoral. Just a bad idea. Go work some place else.