Can a company hire you for a position knowing when you are hired that you do not hold a certain degree but then 2 years later demote you for not having that degree?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a company hire you for a position knowing when you are hired that you do not hold a certain degree but then 2 years later demote you for not having that degree?

I was hired by a company for an engineering position. When they offered the

position to me it was disclosed by me in person that I did not hold an

engineering degree and through a background check that was run. After being in

this position for 2 years, and getting Meets or Exceeds on all reviews

including one as late as a couple of months ago. I was demoted for not having an

engineering degree and stripped of all roles and responsibilities. The new

position did not exist prior to this, and very little direction was given on

expectations. We were also demoted in from of the entire team. They did not

change my compensation, however, they made it very clear that any career

advancement would require a return to school to get an engineering degree. Is

this legal?

Asked on August 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a company can do this. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will", which means that a business can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes mandating that certain educational requirements be met, even if this was not a previous requirement. This is true so long as such action does not violate the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement. Also, a worker's treatment must not constitute some form of actionable discrimination or retaliation. Accordingly, you can accept the situation, complain and risk terminstion, or quit.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption