Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.
Just the use of an internal list of preferred employees alone is not legally discrimination. Nothing in employment law mandates open job postings. Now certainly, with specific employers they may be under laws that require them to have open job listings, like unions and government employers. However, it isn't considered discrimination when they don't list the job openly. For it to be discrimination, you'd need evidence suggesting that they made their decision based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent medical leave use (FMLA leave). Then the EEOC or Department of Labor could get involved, as it would properly be referred to as a discriminatory decision.
Instead, this is a matter of breach of contract (if it is a union requirement for open job postings) or a procedural failure (if the government position requires that they list all jobs openly), and any suit based on that first requires the use of any internal grievance or protest mechanisms that might be available. So, you'll have to protest this issue with the employer first, through whatever method they have, and only after that is complete would you then be able to take that determination of that protest (assuming it came back not in your favor) to a local attorney to pursue litigation.
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