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Can I get my old job back after being demoted

New York, NY |

I was a bus driver and had a fatality in 2009. I had been driving a bus for 10 years and had no accidents. When the accident occurred, they tested me for drugs and alcohol which came back negative. I was suspended while they were performing the investigation and my company found that I was 100% at fault and they demoted me because they could not fire me. The family took me and the company through civil court and a jury of my peers found that I was not 100% at fault because of the evidence that was presented in the case. It was 50% the victims fault and 50% my fault. I was wondering since I got this verdict, is it possible to fight for my driving job back. I went through DMV court and this court as well and they found me not guilty.

Attorney Answers 3


This depends on whether you were party to a written employment agreement or a collective bargaining agreement (as a member of a union). Unless you have contractual rights for reinstatement, I do not believe that the company is required to reinstate you . After all, you were still found to be 50% at fault. That surely is enough legally to justify termination.

Nonetheless, your question does not contain all the facts and details, and it would probably be worthwhile for you to retain and consult with legal counsel.

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Without a contract (individual or collective bargaining agreement) you do not have any right to the position. As an at-will employee your employer does not even have to retain your employment, unless they are discriminating against you. That being said, there is nothing that would prevent your employer from reinstating you, unless there is a department of transportation restriction (or any other legal restriction) that prevents you from performing that job.

You should speak to your employer about reinstatement and see what they say. If you do not get an answer that pleases you, call a union to represent you. People do not know the value of having a union until situations like this occur. Most transportation companies are unionized with good benefits and protections. You can learn more about unions here: Http://

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Possibly, contact your union to pursue this. If they refuse to, consider retaining private counsel. That said, be forewarned that attorneys will need to charge you in order to pursue this for you. Contingency is unlikely to be available for this kind of case in my experience.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook ( if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

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