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Employment Law/Demoted without feedback

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Question
I work for an individually owned company in Ohio. I worked in a Management position. I was called into the owner's office and told that I was being demoted and someone from my team would be taking my place and that I would be filling her place with a significant pay cut. At no time was I given coaching, feedback, or a review. I was never told this was a posibility or given a chance to change perceived behaviors.

When I asked for the reasons behind my demotion, I was told that I had "hourly mentality." The example I was given was that I did not work week ends when large projects were due(normally I work about 50 hours Monday-Friday and this "week end work" expectation was never requested or discussed).

Is it legal to be demoted with a pay cut without feedback knowing that the only reason I was given is that I don't work extra hours on the week ends?

Answer
Neil:

I'm sorry to have to tell you that the employer is completely within his legal rights to do this, unless you have a written or oral employment contract providing that you are entitled to some form of due process before being demoted.  If you know of any facts suggesting there might possibly be discrimination involved here based on your race, age, gender, religion, national origin, marital status or disability, then in theory you might be able to make a claim under federal or state discrimination laws.  Otherwise, the law does not regulate employer conduct that is unfair or oppressive.

Again, I'm sorry I could not give you better news, but I hope this is helpful to you.

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Frank C. Magill

Expertise

I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.

Experience

30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Organizations
Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

Education/Credentials
J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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