Can I legally be demoted because my store manager says that my employees don’t like me?

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Can I legally be demoted because my store manager says that my employees don’t like me?

I went from being an associate to a manager, then to a team lead because they got rid of our ASM position, now back to associate but with no pay change. This happened during my first evaluation and the only reason given to me was that other associates don’t like me. I find hard to believe since they come to me over other managers for issues. Is this legal?

Asked on March 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately your employer can take this action; it is perfectly legal.  If you are an "at will" employee (and the majority of workers are), that is if you do not have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits this action.  Basically, in an at will employment situation, an employer can hire/fire someone any reason (even a bad reason) or even no reason at all.  Additionally, it can increase/decrease an employee's salary/hours, promote/demote an employee, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  In turn, an employee can choose to work for an employer or leave.  This is true unless there as been some type of workplace discrimination involved.   


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