Jay Holland quoted on demotions in prestigious HR website

September 14, 2018

Principal Jay Holland was quoted in an August 22, 2018, article that appeared on SHRM Online, the website of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The article was titled, “Demotions Can Often Lead to Departures but Also to Fresh Starts.”

The SHRM is a leading organization that brings together human resources professionals. Based in Alexandria, Va., it is a membership organization that promotes the role of human resources as a profession and provides education, certification, and networking to its members.

Jay was quoted as pointing out that under the law, a person can be demoted even if his or her pay is not reduced. He said that in Burlington Northern v. White, a 2006 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a person can be considered to be demoted even without a reduction in pay. 

Jay also cautioned employers in the article to be aware of the risks of retaliation claims following a demotion, given that equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws have anti-retaliation provisions, as do the False Claims Act, other whistle-blower statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act. EEO laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Jay also said that an employer should always provide good documentation of any demotion in order to reduce the risk of a claim being filed for retaliation or discrimination. Finally, he said that demotions can result in disgruntled employees, which can poison the work environment.

Jay is a well-known labor and employment, whistleblower, and civil litigation attorney and chair of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake’s Labor, Employment, and Qui Tam Whistleblower practice.