Can I Be Replaced By a Worker With Less Skills and Seniority?
If an employee isn’t protected by an employment or union contract, they are typically at-will employees who may be fired or given a cut in pay for any or no reason without notice. If a contract, such as a collective bargaining agreement applies, employees may be required to be given a fair warning as to their performance and conduct which might lead to their dismissal, as well as a step-by-step procedure leading up to dismissal. Such contracts may also specify the terms of rehire upon layoff. I suggest reading the terms of any employment contract or union agreement carefully to determine your rights and obligations regarding layoffs, as well as those of the employer.
Generally, as long as an employee is not wrongfully discharged, and the layoff terms of a contract aren't violated, the position may be filled with an employee at the same or a lower wage, unless prevented by wage standards under a collective bargaining contract with a union, prevailing wage laws, etc.
For example, an employee may be wrongfully discharged, in violation of an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or for discriminatory reasons based on age, sex, race religion, nationality, or disability. However, an employee who is not wrongfully discharged and doesn't have contractual rights regarding rehire may not bring a claim against an employer merely for being replaced by another less qualified employee.