Many employees work hard at their jobs to advance their careers and achieve personal satisfaction in their professional lives. For many employees, that advancement comes in the form of a promotion. A new job title comes with more job responsibilities and often, an increase in pay.
But promotions are not guaranteed. In fact, sometimes a well deserving employee who has worked hard professionally may find him or herself in the opposite situation: facing demotion.
An employee who is demoted may be moved into a lower position within the company. Or the employee may have been passed over for a promotion, with management choosing to promote a less experienced and less qualified employee.
Demotion becomes a problem when it is done for discriminatory reasons. That is, when an employee demotes an employee because of the employee’s:
- National origin
- Religious beliefs
- Sexual orientation
- Membership in another protected class
Employees may feel confused when this happens. The employer may be quick to deny any wrongdoing. What is the employee to do when discrimination is suspected?
If you are an employee who believes you were demoted (or your pay was cut) for discriminatory reasons, you may be eligible for compensation or other restitution. Additionally, if you believe you were demoted because you blew the whistle on your employer’s illegal or discriminatory actions, you should be aware of your legal options.
Federal employment law is a very specialized area of employment law. It is advisable to speak to an employment law attorney who focuses on representing federal employees.