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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Can a non-union Company demote you from a management position

Customer Question

Can a non-union Company demote you from a management position to a non management position( without any warnings or write ups) and cut you from salery $33 per hr to $20 per hr non salery after holding the position for 9 years. You worked between 52 & 60 hr per week & get paid for 40 hrs per week Im am a Black male 50 years of age. I was told that I may have to drive over 50 miles a day here in the bay area in Cal.,but i will be reinburst 0ver 50 miles. I was driving about 35 miles a day to my regular location. I feel that i was forced to resigned because the pay cut will cause a hardship. Theres a bit more that happened over the years. I want to know do i have any chance for a suite aganist this company.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Do you have any reason to believe that your demotion is due to discrimination against you based on your age or race?

Also, to be clear, you did resign (or, more accurately, refused to accept) the new job, right?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I refused to take the new job & be degraded. I would have had to work for some of the people that I hired in the past. So they told me to sign a resingnation saying that i was moving out of the area and then they would not fight unemployment benifits. This was my general manager. The ER was not there only myself & the general manager. I dont know about the discrimination.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Keith,

Unfortunately, as an at-will (non-union) employee, your employer can demote you from a management to a non-management position at any time for any reason (as long as it's not a discriinatory one) with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

However, since you were basically termianted from your old position and offered a significantly lower paying and lower prestige position, you would be eligible for unemployment benefits for denying the demotion offered to you.

However, if you have any reason to suspect that discrimination against you due to a protected characteristic (race and age) played a role in your demotion, you should file a complaint
with the Departement of Fair Employment and Housing for discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You can do so using the information available online here:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate the complaint on your behalf,
and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim
against your employer through a private attorney.

Did the 'resignation' you signed contain any waiver of potential claims against your employer?