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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34759
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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My son is a general manager at McDonald's in Tuscaloosa, AL.

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My son is a general manager at McDonald's in Tuscaloosa, AL. He informed the owner of his intentions to go back to UA to get his business degree. He is signed up for classes that will not interfere with his schedule. The owner told him he would have to demote him to assistant manager because he wouldn't be on call 24/7 and his classes might interfere later on down the line. Being demoted would mean a reduction of $10,000 less/year and he will lose his insurance. Is this legal? I feel this owner is not honest.He clearly doesn't want to see a young man (25)) better himself.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Alabama
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Against the employer? No. This happened today.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's everything my son told me. He is going to try to find a lawyer in town tomorrow. I thought of you.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Can you tell me, what is the reason for the demotion? Is it because he is attending school? Or is there some other reason?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you have the question I have asked, and do you need any other information?

I have the question...but I wanted to know the reason for the demotion? Is it because of school? Or some other reason (like his race, gender, ethnicity, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He will be demoted if he goes to school. There is no other reason. He has worked there since 2012 or'13. He started as a shift manager. He is white. Do you help white people?

I was asking about his race, and if that was a factor, as it could be a basis to sue.

Lets back up...

AL is an "at will" state...In an "at will" employer/employee relationship, either side can end OR modify the relationship (the employer can fire the employee or demote them or the employee can quit) "at will".

As an "at will" employee your son's options are limited. His employer can demote for a good reason, or no reason at all. The only thing that they can not do is demote for a "bad" reason. A "bad" reason would be if they demoted him based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or gender some other protected class (like if you were a "whistleblower")

So they can demote.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that they can not demote, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

P. Simmons and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks. I was afraid of that answer. This guy doesn't want to lose a good worker, and I guess by threatening my son, he thought he would be afraid of losing his insurance and payday. Hopefully, my son will find another job, and not have to work for a man like this. It's really sad that people have so much hatefulness in them.
I won't forget to do the evaluation. Good night.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that
phil