Does your employer have to tell you if you are demoted or not?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does your employer have to tell you if you are demoted or not?

My 1 year lease with my roommate was up 5 months ago and it then changed to month-to-month. I moved out and turned in my keys/garage remote but my roommate stayed. He told me he was moving out at the end of the month and I thought everything was fine. He ended up not moving out and he stopped paying everything for 3 months after. The rental company says I’m still on the hook because the lease was never terminated. What are my options? I really don’t want this on my credit report.

Asked on January 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, absent legally actionable discrimination,  a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes who to demote, when and why. This is true unless a worker has protection against such a change under the terms of a union agreemnt or employment contract. Bottom line, your employer is under no duty to inform you of a demotion. That having been said, if the demotion involves a pay decrease, then you must be informed of this and you must be informed before the reduction takes effect. You cannot have your wages lowered after the fact; a retroactive pay decrease is illegal. Such a decrease can only be for work to be performed going forward. 

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 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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