Can I be demoted of title and pay based on factors on other things than job performance?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2015

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Can I be demoted of title and pay based on factors on other things than job performance?

Asked on June 25, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes you can. That is so long as your demotion was not based on some form of legally actionable discrimination. Under the law, there can be no discrimination in employment based on an employee's inclusion in a "protected class" based on such factors as: race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, etc. If you are not part of such a class, then you can legally be treated differently than other employees.

Also, unless your demotion violated existing company policy, a union or like agreement or an employment contract, it was most probably legal. It's hard to say with certainty without having all of the facts of your situation. What most workers do not realize is that in an "at will" employment relationhip, as a general rule, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes who and why to promote or demote.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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