I was demoted from a position in the company I work for. I had no documentation for the reasoning nor corrective action was taken prior. After the fact, it wasn’t kept confidential within the company and now other employees know. Is there any legal action I could take?

Asked on September 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, did you have an employment contract or union agreement that addresses how and why a demotion is to be given? Did your company's action constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then your treatment was perfectly permissable. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes the circumstances under which a demotion is made. As for the confidentiality of your situation, there is no inherent right that a demotion, etc. be kept private. While unprofessional not to do do, it is unfortunately legal.

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