What legal rights do I have after being demoted from the highest paid position and being forced to accept an entry level position within the organization?

I was demoted from a general manager position without any warning and they refuse to tell me why I was demoted. Just last month at our monthly meeting, i was told I was doing a good job. They are now pressuring me to accept an entry level position within the same organization. I feel they are only offering that entry level position so I can’t claim unemployment.

Asked on July 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sometimes you can quit a job for a "good work-related reason" and qualify for unemployment benefits; being reduced from a managerial to an entry level position, unless such was due to your own actions/behavior (e.g. as discipline or punishment for an infraction; for poor performance) may qualify as a such a good reason, but it is impossible to say for certain in advance--the department of labor reviews such situations on a case-by-case basis.

While you may have a claim for unemployment, your employer certainly has a right to reduce your position and/or compensation, unless you have an employment contract. (If you do, it is enforceable.) Without an employment contract, your employer may fire you--or anything  short of firing, like demotion--at any time, for any reason, without prior notice.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you consult with a labor attorney with respect to the demotion that you received at work where you have now been offered an entry level position after years of being in a general manager's position where you have not been advised of the reasons for your demotion despite efforts on your part for such information.

From what you have written, it appears that your employer is trying to force you out of where you are working to the point that you actually resign.

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