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Unfortunately, no law requires employers to be honest about the reasons why they are letting an employee go, or to give hiring priority on new positions to former employees. This is to say, there is nothing inherently illegal about laying an employee off and then subsequently hiring for the same position.
Now, the fact an employee was "laid off" and then the company turned around and began hiring for the same position might be evidence that the "layoff" was a pretense to conceal an unlawful motivation for letting the employee go. Illegal reasons for terminating an employee would be discrimination (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain legally protected activity, such as taking FMLA leave or filing a wage claim.
So, for example, if an employee was "laid off" immediately after filing a wage claim against their employer, they could argue that the layoff was merely a pretense to conceal the employer's true motivation--retaliation for filing a wage claim--because the employer turned around and hired someone else for the position, thus indicating that the layoff was never really necessary.
This is a small exception to the general rule, though. In general, since employment is at will and thus can be terminated for virtually any non-discriminatory reason regardless of whether the basis is fair or even true, there is nothing unlawful about laying an employee off and then subsequently re-hiring for the position.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.