I Was Laid Off; Now That My Employer is Hiring Do I Get My Job Back?


My employer laid me off due to COVID-19 in April. The job scene is a disaster. I get up every morning searching job postings. I’ve had some initial interviews, but no call backs and no offers.

When I opened indeed.com this morning, I learned my former employer had posted my former job. They’re now hiring for the job I did, for which they laid me off, but didn’t let me know, much less call me in for an interview. Don’t they have to? I was laid off, not fired.

Does the fact that they didn’t call me mean they won’t hire me if I apply?


You can and should apply, particularly if you left on good terms. Quite possibly you will be interviewed and hired.

Don’t read too much into the fact that your former employer didn’t reach out to you. The individual who posted the job may not have cross-matched the vacancies with former laid off employees.

There’s no guarantee you’ll get your job back, however, even if your former employer is hiring for your former position. Your employer isn’t required to hire you unless they’ve provided you a written agreement promising you’d be rehired. According to Corey Daspit, founder of the Human Resources firm APEX HRO, “Being laid off means the employer did not have enough work available and could not justify the cost of keeping underutilized labor on payroll. Furthermore, it’s possible the position requirements may have changed as a result of restructuring and so while you may have been qualified for the position before, you may not be qualified for the newly restructured position.”

If you had good performance, however, and the job remains virtually the same, you’ll be a top candidate as you offer your former employer an employee who can hit the ground running.

Here’s what to do now. If you received a layoff notice, check whether it says anything about being rehired. If you have a copy of your former employee handbook, look in the section on layoffs to see if there’s any information about laid off workers being rehired. Call your former employer’s HR officer and ask them about rehire policies and practices. Call your former supervisor and let him know you’re interested in returning.  He may favor your immediate rehire, and if so, your chances are excellent.

© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016) and “Solutions” (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at lynnewriter10@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

9 thoughts on “I Was Laid Off; Now That My Employer is Hiring Do I Get My Job Back?

  1. Comprehensive! This is helpful and valuable advice and underscores the importance of keeping a copy of your employee handbook and familiarizing yourself with it. Hope the person who asked the question is able to get rehired.

    1. Agreed. When laid off or fired employees ask me for help, I always ask for a copy of their former employer’s handbook. When a manager or supervisor calls with questions, I ask to look @ it as well.

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