UPDATED: Sep 26, 2016

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I was demoted from a position in the company I work for. I had no documentation for the reasoning nor corrective action was taken prior. After the fact, it wasn’t kept confidential within the company and now other employees know. Is there any legal action I could take?

Asked on September 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, did you have an employment contract or union agreement that addresses how and why a demotion is to be given? Did your company's action constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then your treatment was perfectly permissable. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes the circumstances under which a demotion is made. As for the confidentiality of your situation, there is no inherent right that a demotion, etc. be kept private. While unprofessional not to do do, it is unfortunately legal.

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.

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