Laid off - now ineligible for rehire due to workers comp claim

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I live/work in Missouri

I was working at a factory and about 6 months into the job started developing pain in my wrist. I filed an injury report and saw the corporate doctors off and on for a couple months. I was eventually able to bid out to a job that was easier on my wrists and was content.

About a month later, the factory did a mass layoff and I was included. Their policy is they will recall based on seniority for 6 months. After that everyone left is terminated and can reapply and potentially be re-hired based on previous job performance, attendance, and team leader recommendations (rather than strictly on seniority).

My seniority/recall number was 27 and they got to 25 by the time the 6 months time frame was up. I reapplied with everyone else. I know for a fact that my 2 team leaders were both recommending me and requesting me for their lines. I was previously a good worker (was able to work in multiple positions and was also used to train about 8 people) and only had one absence in the year that I worked there before getting laid off.

However, it seems that they have called back practically everyone but me. I know they have called back one guy who had 5 or 6 absences and often showed up to work hung over, one lady that originally turned them down when asked to come back (should have been an automatic "not eligible for re-hire", but they called her again and she accepted that time), and one girl who constantly would leave her position to go to the water fountain (which just happened to be by where her boyfriend worked).

I heard through the grapevine that I was originally on the "bring back" list (know someone who actually saw the list), but was later removed due to my previous injury report/workers comp claim. They have now started taking outside applications so I'm pretty sure they have absolutely no intention of ever bringing me back.

So my main question is, can they hold a previous injury/workers comp claim against someone when it comes to re-hiring?
You are working with some assumptions. At this point, why not request a meeting with them and just go get some answers? SHow them you are still able and willing to do the work.
I've met with them many times and they just keep telling me that I'm on "the list" but I really don't believe it. If they truly are considering me for re-hire, then why would they start taking outside applications? It makes absolutely no sense for them to not hire me (if I'm truly eligible) but instead hire a bunch of people who know absolutely nothing about the company and would have to go through a full orientation and training. It costs them a lot more to bring in new people than to bring back old people.

I know that I don't have any proof of anything (and therefore can't really take any action) and I know there's absolutely 0 chance of them ever bringing me back (I still plan on filling out a new application from time to time), I mainly what to know for my own peace of mind if it's perfectly fine what they're doing or if it really is wrong of them.

If I had known that they could hold it against me like this, I NEVER would have filed the initial injury report. I would have just dealt with the pain until I was able to bid out to a different job.
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