Is it legal to demote a good employee simply to hire an employers friend into that position

A friend of mine was told to leave or
take a demotion without change in
pay. A month later the same executive
director hired a friend into the vacated
director position without posting the
open position. This was an at will
position. My friend was just hired as the
director 10 months earlier and received
only praise until this happened.

Asked on January 8, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, so long as no form of legally actionable discrimination is the reason. This means that a worker cannot be given lesser treatment due to their race, religion, disability, age (over 40), nationality, gender and the like. Otherwie, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit unless there exists a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary. Bottom line, demoting you in order to hire your employer;s frien for your postion, whie unfair, is legal.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, so long as no form of legally actionable discrimination is the reason. This means that a worker cannot be given lesser treatment due to their race, religion, disability, age (over 40), nationality, gender and the like. Otherwie, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit unless there exists a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary. Bottom line, demoting you in order to hire your employer;s frien for your postion, whie unfair, is legal.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.