Can my manager demote me and reduce my salary?

I belong to a union. I have been a lead to my manager for 7 years and have almost perfect attendance. I even received a great evaluation. Can he demote me and take money away from me without any basis of foundation like a write up, documentation, counsel, or rectification of any actions? I’ve done nothing other than to have voiced my opinion that there’s favoritism happening. My manager feels that I should not be his assistant anymore and started a mutiny so that all the other employees don’t like to work in my facility because of me. I’ve been here 25 years with no complaints filed against me.

Asked on December 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You say you belong to a union. In that case, you need to look at what your union contact says about discipline, demotion, etc. As a general rule, employment is "employment at will," which means people may be demoted or even fired at any time, for any reason. This is modified by the terms of any employment agreement, including a union or collective-bargaining agreement. If there is anything in the agreement which covers or impacts your situation, those terms must be followed; otherwise a manager can demoted someone, regardless of past performance, if the manager chooses. You may wish to contact your union rep for assistance and advice, including assistance in understanding what the relevant terms (if any) of the union agreement are. Good luck.

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