Can my employer demote me and completely change my roleat workbecause he believesI am having an intimate relationship with a partner in the business?

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have an employment agreement or contract, you would be an "employee at will." An employee at will may be fired, demoted, have his or her job changed, be transfered, be discriplined, etc. at any time, for any reason, without notice, by the employer. So the answer, unfortunately, would appear in this situation to be "yes"--unless  you are protected by some agreement or contract, your employer may demote you and/or redefine you job if he believes you are having an intimate relationship with one of the business's partners. There is, regretably, very little protection for employees at will and they have almost no rights in the workplace. While you should consult with an employment attorney who can evaluate your situation for a more definitive answer, in general, what you describe is permissible.

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