Can I be demoted without notice?

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Can I be demoted without notice?

I have been with my trash company for 5 years. I never had an accident caused by myself until last week. Now they say I can no longer be used as a driver, only a helper at a wage cut. Is that legal?

Asked on March 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only real question is whether you had an employment contract (including a union agreement) which either guaranteed your position and salary, or else provided some disciplinary process which must be followed. If you had such a contract, it is enforceable, and you could only be demoted and have your pay cut in accordance with it.

However, without a contract, your employer may reduce your salary/wages and/or demote you at any time, for any reason, without any prior or advance notice. That is because without such a contract, you are an employee at will, and your employer may do anything up to and including terminating you whenever they choose.


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