Can my employer legally demote me and promote someone from a lower pay scale to my former job?

I work for a MO state agency that is downsizing. I had to reapply in a competitive process for my job. I was demoted and someone from a lower pay scale was promoted to my position. I do not now or ever have had any kind of disciplinary action.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Are you a member of a union? If so, speak to your union rep and see what they have to say about this situation. If not, do you have an employment contract that would prohibit this action or does your demotion violate existing company policy, if any? If not, then has such action resulted from a form of discrimination? If the answer to that is no, then I'm afraid that you have no actionable claim against your employer.

Absent any of the above, Your employer is free to hire and fire as it see fits as well as set the terms and conditionsof employment.  This is known as "at will" employment; and most work relationships are. Consequently your demotion is perfectly permissible in the eyes of the law. Unfortunate, but that's those are the facts.


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