Can they legally promote someone less qualified?

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Can they legally promote someone less qualified?

I have worked for this agency for 15 years. I started out in the office but the new sheriff said I was not nice enough to people. My job was collecting fines and issuing warrants. He got mad at me and screamed at me in front of everyone and I was not allowed to speak to anyone for about 4 months nor was I allowed to answer the phone. Then he moved me to the detention center. I worked as relief but I also was assigned the medical, which meant that I worked every Monday and Thursday even when I was on vacation or off on that day. I did this for 3 years. My jail administrator had surgery and he put me and another jailer in charge. About 2 weeks later he fired an entire shift and I was put in charge of a shift. I got no extra pay for this but I was unofficially in charge of the shift and I got 2 new hires to train. I have been doing this since about March. Then yesterday I am told that they promoted someone else to sergeant instead of me and this person has only been there a year. Not only that, they do not know how to do everything that the job requires. They are moving me to this person’s shift, so in essence I would be training my own supervisor. Back 2 years ago when I went to the jail, the woman who took my place in the office messed up the books. I spent 3 months cleaning them up for her. I have done everything they have ever asked me to do, something very few people in my workplace will do. I don’t know why they passed me over for a promotion after I had performed the job without extra pay for 4 months. I don’t think it is right. I have never been written up. There is nothing in my file. Even the sheriff will say I do an excellent job at any job he gives me, but yet I am not promoted. Instead they promoted someone who had been there less time than me and has less qualifications for the position.

Asked on July 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes it can unless there is a union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract that prohibits this. Also, your treatment must not be due to some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to be). Otherwise, an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes who to promote and when.


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