Long gone — Does he retain his seniority?

Except in special cases, no new hiring had occurred since the layoff of 26 people 2-yr ago. Then one day a big contract was landed which resulted in a recall notice to the laid-off employees. Of the original group, four workers returned.
By Raymond Dreyfack March 1, 1999

Except in special cases, no new hiring had occurred since the layoff of 26 people 2-yr ago. Then one day a big contract was landed which resulted in a recall notice to the laid-off employees. Of the original group, four workers returned.

Utility Man Bud Sosnik was one of them. Things hummed along smoothly until pay day which brought Sosnick scurrying to his boss’ desk.

“Hey, how come I was paid at the starting rate,” he complained. “I have over a year’s seniority.”

“No more you don’t,” Maintenance Foreman Carl Hoffer replied. “You were laid off for 2 yr. You lost your seniority.”

“Sez who?”

“Sez the labor agreement. Recall after a layoff of a year or more means reinstatement as a new employee.”

“That’s a ripoff,” Sosnik protested.

“Sorry. It’s the law of the land.”

“We’ll see about that.”

Question: Should Sosnik have his seniority restored?

Malcom’s verdict: “Sosnik’s seniority is gone,” Plant Engineer Fred Malcolm ruled. “The policy manual spells it out clearly. Employees lose their seniority following layoff of a year or more unless the amount of seniority held at the time of layoff exceeded the length of the layoff period. Unfortunately for Sosnik, he doesn’t qualify under this provision.”