If I was recently demoted for no legitimate reason, what can I do?

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If I was recently demoted for no legitimate reason, what can I do?

I’ve never been written up in the 2 1/2 years that I have worked for this company. Since the demotion they’ve only been letting me work 2 or 2 days a week at what is supposed to be a full-time job.

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employer does not need a "legitimate" reason to demote (or reduce hours, or suspend, or terminate) an employee at will; rather, an employer may do any of these things at any time, for any reason. Whether or not you have a good work history at this employer is not relevant--even though it may well be highly unfair, your employer may demote you and reduce your hours at will, if you do not have an employment contract, so long as they are not engaged in illegal discrimination (e.g., so long as they are not discriminating against you on the basis of race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability).


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