Can an employer demote or terminate employee for not receiving certification within time frame

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Can an employer demote or terminate employee for not receiving certification within time frame

I’ve been in my position for almost 10
years now and recently employer changed
our career matrix to include classes and
certifications I do not have. They are
saying I must retain the certs by may
1st 2020 or be demoted or terminated. My
confusion was in I’ve already been
promoted to this job prior to this
change and have excellent appraisals for
every yearshowing I can do this job
without these certs. I agree with I
might not be eligible for promotion but
shouldn’t I Have been grandfathered in
to position I already retain now ? I
live in Georgia by the way amd I know
its a right to work state but this seems
not right ..

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you this action violates the terms of an exisiting employment contract or union agreement, it is legal. You have no right to be "grandfathered" into the position. The fact is that absent some form of actionable discrimination, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes changing job requirements and the like. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no such thing as being "grandfathered" into a position. Assuming you do not have a written employment contract for a specific or certain period of time (e.g. a one-year) contract, which contract is still in force (unexpired), you are an "employee at will." An employee at will has no rights to his or her job, and the employer may change job requirements, demote, transfer, reduce pay or hours, change duties, etc..--anything up to an including termination--at any time, for any reason.
If you have a written contract, you have whatever rights the contract, by its plain terms, gives you.


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